Data Architecture

Data Architecture

Data Architecture Jonathan Poland

Data architecture refers to the principles, structures, standards, controls, models, transformations, interfaces, and technologies that define how data is stored, secured, curated, managed, and used in an organization or system. This includes the systems and processes that allow an organization to efficiently and securely acquire, use, and manage data. Data architecture helps ensure that an organization can access the data it needs, when it needs it, in a way that is secure and compliant with any relevant regulations or standards.


Data architecture principles are foundational rules that guide the structure, use and management of data. For example, the principle that “data is a shared asset” can be useful for encouraging solution architects to use data repositories that already exist as opposed to replicating things.


Data architecture standards are structures, practices and technologies that an organization adopts to avoid reinventing things for every system, application or analysis. For example, an organization might adopt a standard way to publish and subscribe to data.


Data architecture is the structural design of information technologies for acquiring, storing, using, securing and managing data. A data architecture diagram captures the layers, interfaces, technologies and flows of data. These are typically produced at the organizational, system, application and solution level.


A data model defines the structure of data itself. This includes data entities and relationships between entities.

Data Dictionary

A data dictionary is a reference that provides a user friendly overview of data entities, fields, formats, validations and business context. This can be used both by software developers and users. For example, a user who wants to build a report might reference a data dictionary to see what data is available.


Patterns describe standard ways to acquire, store, transform, share, use, secure and manage data. For example, data architecture may include a sequence diagram that illustrates how to build a report from an organization’s data warehouse.


Data controls are roles, responsibilities, processes, procedures and systems for managing data. For example, a data architecture might define how data is encrypted in storage and the processes for managing encryption keys.


Data architecture may include structures and specifications for publishing, consuming, transferring and transforming data.

Master Data

Data architecture may define a single source of truth for data entities and methods for using and managing master data.


The process of defining a data architecture often involves evaluation and selection of information technologies for data storage, analysis, integration, management, security and curation. For example, a data architect may perform a product evaluation as part of the procurement of a extract, transform and load tool. A data architecture document typically provides an overview of selected technologies including their capabilities, limitations and risks.


A data architecture typically includes a diagram that captures how the architecture is physically deployed to infrastructure. This is similar to the logical data architecture diagram with details of machines, platforms, environments and technologies.

Learn More…

Reputational Risk Jonathan Poland

Reputational Risk

Reputational risk refers to the potential for damage to an organization’s reputation…

Consumer Services Jonathan Poland

Consumer Services

Consumer services are services that are provided to individual consumers, rather than…

Brand Vision Jonathan Poland

Brand Vision

A brand vision is a statement that paints a picture of the…

Drip Marketing Jonathan Poland

Drip Marketing

Drip marketing, also known as drip campaigns, is a strategy that involves…

Chief Executive Officer Jonathan Poland

Chief Executive Officer

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) is the top administrator of an organization,…

What is Design Risk? Jonathan Poland

What is Design Risk?

Design risk refers to the potential negative consequences that a business may…

Joint Ventures Jonathan Poland

Joint Ventures

A joint venture is a business venture or partnership between two or…

Relative Advantage Jonathan Poland

Relative Advantage

Relative advantage refers to the extent to which a company’s product, service,…

Customer Avatar Jonathan Poland

Customer Avatar

A customer avatar, also known as an ideal customer profile, is a…

Jonathan Poland © 2023

Search the Database

Over 1,000 posts on topics ranging from strategy to operations, innovation to finance, technology to risk and much more…

Business Environment Jonathan Poland

Business Environment

The business environment refers to the external factors and conditions that can…

Examples of Consumer Goods Jonathan Poland

Examples of Consumer Goods

Consumer goods are physical products that are purchased by individuals for their…

Right to Repair Jonathan Poland

Right to Repair

The right to repair is the idea that consumers should have the…

Brand Awareness Jonathan Poland

Brand Awareness

Brand awareness refers to the extent to which consumers are familiar with…

Overchoice Jonathan Poland


Overchoice, also known as the “paradox of choice,” is a phenomenon in…

Internal Branding Jonathan Poland

Internal Branding

Internal branding involves creating a strong brand identity within the company itself,…

Types of Market Research Jonathan Poland

Types of Market Research

Market research is the process of systematically gathering and analyzing information about…

Innovation Risk Jonathan Poland

Innovation Risk

Innovation is a proactive approach to business and design that aims to…

Key Strengths Jonathan Poland

Key Strengths

Key strengths are talents, character traits, and knowledge that are particularly relevant…