Integrated data & process modeling in particular are essential to understand what is important to an organization and how it operates, as well as how the organization needs to adapt to attain strategic objectives. In a nutshell, data represents "WHAT" and business process represents "HOW", also providing necessary context. Data is a strategic asset. To take full advantage of it we must fully understand the data value chain.
As we proceed from left to right, we are building the data value chain. Facts are captured, stored, and expressed as data. Information is data in context. Without context, data is meaningless; we create meaningful information by interpreting the context around data.
ER/Studio process modeling capabilities fully implement the full BPMN 2.0 specification, with significant extensions beyond that. Integrated business process models are used to fully define and document important processes, functional responsibilities, goals, objectives, data store usage and links between processes and the applications that implement them.
Process models can incorporate entities and tables from associated data models, even specifying Create, Read, Update and Delete (CRUD) operations if required. This builds a very rich specification of how the data is used in an organization, as well as visibility of the data life cycle.
As discussed above, it is essential to understand the business meaning of data elements and related terms. This is facilitated by true enterprise data dictionaries and business glossaries. The architecture of the enterprise dictionaries and models allows governance and other user-defined characteristics to be defined and attached in the models themselves, with the associated metadata that is published into the Team Server collaboration platform. This can be used to define and designate important classifications for reference and master data management, security, data retention policies, data quality characteristics and more. The information is very easy to communicate, since it can be visually displayed in the model diagrams as well.
In ER/Studio Enterprise Team Edition, the business glossary is not restricted to business terms and their definitions. The glossary structure is extremely flexible, supporting linked and nested glossaries that can be used to represent functional areas, related terms, catalogs of governance policies and even serve as a directory to link reference and master data. Thus, governance policies and reference data can be linked to the associated metadata and model constructs.