Conceptual Data Diagram

The diagram describes the information objects processed by the architecture

The purpose of the conceptual data diagram is to outline the relationship between data and business entities of the aspired solution. The Conceptual Data Diagram can be treated like an Entity-Relationship Diagram, outlining, and describing the information being processed by the aspired solution.


Outline the relationship between data and business entities of the aspired solution


Enterprise Architects


60 - 120 minutes



Before You Start

First create the Architectural Decisions List.
The Conceptual Data Diagram is created after the Architectural Decisions List, which documents the discussions and outlines the reasoning behind chosen methods for realizing the target architecture. You can find the method here:

Architectural Decisions List

Materials you will need

Templates for Download


Creating a Conceptual Data Diagram includes several steps. We recommend completing them in one session.
  • 30 - 60 minutes

Understand the information flow

Identify information objects (entities) being processed by the Solution Building Blocks in the Solution Realization Diagram and understand the information flow between the SBBs.

This diagram is not a technically detailed data model description which you can directly map to a relational data model, for example. In fact, the information objects, or data entities, you are describing via the Conceptual Data Diagram can be stored and handled by different solution building blocks of the architecture. They might not necessarily end up in a relational database, maybe a graph store is suited better, or you get the information objects via an API or message queue, from a building block outside the scope of your architecture.

Another source of input for creating the Conceptual Data Diagram is the Use-Case Blueprint Diagram which is used to map user-centric actions to technical aspects of the architecture, such as data, systems, and technical capabilities.


  • 15 -30 minutes

Name and describe the entities

Name the entities you have identified with an unambiguous name and add attributes or properties with respective data types to further describe the entities. For choosing data types, keep it simple and chose types like “number”, “string”, “date”, for example.

  • 15 - 30 minutes

Describe the relationship between the entities

Think about the relationship between the different entities. Mostly, you will design an association between two entities and define a multiplicity. The association is represented by a solid line between two entities and is described with a verb.

See Example

You're done!

Congratulations! As a next step, we recommend to create a Software Distribution Diagram to create an overview of how your solution is hosted.