The global skills and competency framework for the digital world

Data modelling and design DTAN


Developing models and diagrams to represent and communicate data requirements and data assets.

SFIA 9 is in development

  • SFIA 9 beta due in early July 2024
  • SFIA 9 planned for publication October 2024

Guidance notes


Data modelling supports activities such as, but not limited to:

  • helping organisations understand their data assets, developing software systems, and the relationships between real-world entities
  • engaging with stakeholders to gather requirements and ensure data models align with business objectives
  • facilitating data engineering, integration and interoperability
  • enhancing data retrieval
  • supporting data governance and master data management
  • incorporating industry reference data standards to ensure consistency, interoperability, and compliance.

Data models typically include components such as entities, relationships, attributes, and domains. There are various types of data models, including relational, object-oriented, NoSQL, and time-based.

Data models communicate different levels of detail, including conceptual, logical and physical. 

Understanding the responsibility levels of this skill

Where lower levels are not defined...

  • Specific tasks and responsibilities are not defined because the skill requires a higher level of autonomy, influence, and complexity in decision-making than is typically expected at these levels. You can use the essence statements to understand the generic responsibilities associated with these levels.

Where higher levels are not defined...

  • Responsibilities and accountabilities are not defined because these higher levels involve strategic leadership and broader organisational influence that goes beyond the scope of this specific skill. See the essence statements.

Developing skills and demonstrating responsibilities related to this skill

The defined levels show the incremental progression in skills and reponsibilities.

Where lower levels are not defined...

You can develop your knowledge and support others who do have responsibility in this area by:

  • Learning key concepts and principles related to this skill and its impact on your role
  • Performing related skills (see the related SFIA skills)
  • Supporting others with tasks (generic examples are provided by the essence statements for each level)

Where higher levels are not defined...

  • You can progress by developing related skills which are better suited to higher levels of organisational leadership.


Defined at these levels: 2 3 4 5

Show/hide extra descriptions and levels.

Level 1

Level 1 - Follow: Essence of the level: Performs routine tasks under close supervision, follows instructions, and requires guidance to complete their work. Learns and applies basic skills and knowledge.

Data modelling and design: Level 2

Level 2 - Assist: Essence of the level: Provides assistance to others, works under routine supervision, and uses their discretion to address routine problems. Actively learns through training and on-the-job experiences.


Establishes, modifies or maintains simple data structures and associated components.

Uses specific data modelling and design techniques under guidance.

Data modelling and design: Level 3

Level 3 - Apply: Essence of the level: Performs varied tasks, sometimes complex and non-routine, using standard methods and procedures. Works under general direction, exercises discretion, and manages own work within deadlines. Proactively enhances skills and impact in the workplace.


Applies standard data modelling and design techniques based upon a detailed understanding of requirements.

Establishes, modifies and maintains data structures and associated components.

Communicates the details of data structures and associated components to others using the data structures and associated components.

Data modelling and design: Level 4

Level 4 - Enable: Essence of the level: Performs diverse complex activities, supports and supervises others, works autonomously under general direction, and contributes expertise to deliver team objectives.


Investigates enterprise data requirements where there is some complexity and ambiguity.

Plans own data modelling and design activities, selecting appropriate techniques and the correct level of detail for meeting assigned objectives.

Provides advice and guidance to others using the data structures and associated components.

Data modelling and design: Level 5

Level 5 - Ensure, advise: Essence of the level: Provides authoritative guidance in their field and works under broad direction. Accountable for achieving workgroup objectives and managing work from analysis to execution and evaluation.


Sets standards for data modelling and design tools and techniques, advises on their application and ensures compliance.

Manages the investigation of enterprise data requirements based upon a detailed understanding of information requirements.

Coordinates the application of analysis, design and modelling techniques to establish, modify or maintain data structures and their associated components.

Manages the iteration, review and maintenance of data requirements and data models.

Level 6

Level 6 - Initiate, influence: Essence of the level: Has significant organisational influence, makes high-level decisions, shapes policies, demonstrates leadership, fosters organizational collaboration, and accepts accountability in key areas.

Level 7

Level 7 - Set strategy, inspire, mobilise: Essence of the level: Operates at the highest organisational level, determines overall organisational vision and strategy, and assumes accountability for overall success.