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Using the Unified Modeling Language Class Model as a Data Model

The class model, much like a data model, shows the information we manage and the relationships among the various classes. A data model reflects the data requirements and is the basis for the design of the database used to support the system meeting these requirements.[1] Each data item can have rules, identifiers, and universal truths that will become tables and columns within a database or otherwise processable data structure.

These are the “things” we manage—policies, rules, people roles—when they turn into software or hardware. For consistency throughout the methodology, the UML class model is used for the data model.

One example class model is the party of interest model, which can be any individual or organization that is of interest to any enterprise. Figure 6-8 shows a more detailed piece of the class model that would be developed. The party of interest would have a uniqueness identification number, name, primary address, ZIP code, and primary telephone number. The relationship lines[2] indicate that persons and organizations are the most common types of party of interest and inherit the data attributes and the operational attributes (often referred to as methods). So person would have the attributes of party of interest as well as its own attributes. It would also have create, read, update, deactivate, and archive methods available.

Figure 6-8. Detail class model

Example: Privacy Component Class Model

The party of interest is a class of the privacy component class model. Figure 6-9 shows classes that represent things managed by the enterprise and the data privacy requirements. Each class represents a person, place, thing, concept, or event deemed

to be of significance to an enterprise within the data protection realm. Classes deal with attributes, behavior, and message passing. A class has a name and a definition of its purpose and other attributes that are characteristics of the class. This class model will be described in more depth in Chapter 7.

Figure 6-9. Privacy component class model

Data Modeling Steps

The following data modeling steps should be performed:

1. Identify major classes

2. Identify big data requirements (documents, videos, audios, web downloads, e-mails)

a. Find where the useful data are located. In the case of big data, the same data may be scattered within and across different sources.

b. Determine how to pull the data into a “single source of the truth” to consolidate, cleanse, and centralize the data.

3. Identify one or more data block(s) in which data attributes should be placed (e.g., a vacation plan data block in the scenario 3 vacation planner data model in Chapter 9).

4. Identify attributes of each class and big data data blocks

5. Determine relationships between classes and data blocks

6. Identify uniqueness identifiers (part of data modeling)

7. Validate classes through normalization and big data analysis

8. Attach business and privacy rules to classes, data blocks, data relationships, or data attributes

9. Integrate with existing class and data models

10. Analyze for stability and growth

11. Record in a metadata repository throughout process

  • [1] We discuss a database here because it is in common use, but data models may be used in designing other data structures. Even in the case of unstructured data, data modeling helpsorganize the data elements extracted from the unstructured data into a “big data” data block. In the Trillions book (Trillions: Thriving in the Emerging Information Ecology by Peter Lucas, Joe Ballay, MickeyMcManus Wiley Press (2012)), the authors describe data storage containers that will implement a so-called internet of things. Understanding the various data entities, and the relationships of other data entities to it, is a condition precedent for the successful use of data.
  • [2] The arrow-like icon on the relationship lines indicates that there is an inheritance relationship between the super-type party of interest and the subtypes individual person and organization.
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