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What Does a Data Modeler Do?

By C.B. Fox
Updated May 17, 2024
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A data modeler is a person who works with data in order to turn the information into something that is understandable and useful to a business. This person may gather data from a variety of sources, analyze it, and organize it in so it can easily be read and interpreted. Some of the tools that a data modeler uses are graphs, charts, keys and computer programs that are specifically designed to work with the data. The modeler may also be involved in the creation of the computer programs that handle a business’s data. The job of a data modeler is similar to the job of a data architect, and sometimes these two titles are used interchangeably.

One of the main tasks of the data modeler is determining what kind of data a particular business might need. These professionals use conceptual data models to determine what type of data will be needed and how to best organize it before the data has been gathered. Once a business knows what kind of data it needs, the data modeler then needs to determine ways to gather that information.

When the data modeler has data to work with, the modeling job can involve a number of different things. The modeler may need to design computer programs to accommodate, analyze, or process the data. It may also be necessary for the modeler to determine ways to integrate, with or without the use of computer programs, different types of data that are coming from a number of different places.

Aside from creating computer programs, data modelers also organize data into databases or visual systems. These creations, made with actual data, are referred to as physical data models, even when they exist only electronically. Data may be organized into tables, charts, graphs, or indices that can be referenced through tags or keys. In most cases, the data is organized in such a way that other people in the company can easily access it and make sense of it.

The data modeler may also set up systems so that new data is entered into the organized database automatically or so that data can be quickly and easily added to the existing system. In many cases, one of the main tasks of the modeler is to streamline the process of gathering, organizing, and accessing data so that a business can run more efficiently. These professionals may develop strategies to deal with data as well as the programs needed to sort through it.

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Discussion Comments

By Markerrag — On Apr 25, 2014

@Logicfest -- true, but there is a tendency on the part of some media outlets to rely too much on the data presented by firms interested in "spinning" the numbers to their advantage. That's not always the case, but it does happen often enough.

To make sure the public isn't mislead, then, a journalist needs to know enough about the issue he or she is covering to view that information in an informed and skeptical light.

By Logicfest — On Apr 24, 2014

One thing that people might not think about when considering what a data modeler does is how many fields benefit from that skill. We think of corporations using data to review different aspects of a business, of course, but economists make great use of that skill in explaining things like recessions and recoveries. Journalists also need to know how to interpret data so that it can keep readers informed of things that are important to them (trends in homes sales and what that means to consumers, etc.)

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