The theory and practice of data modeling has been with us for more than 30 years. You can learn more about the role of Dr. Peter Chen and the history of Entity Relationship diagrams and data modeling here – http://csc.lsu.edu/~chen/.
At Synthetic IO we take a different approach – we like to model with data. Working with hundreds of clients since the mid-90s, we noticed that having access to real data aka production data was always a roadblock to rapid prototyping, simulation, and testing.
We set out to build a technology that allowed us to elicit a better requirements document from the client when we showed them what their data would look like in a production system. We would generate the data. We would then revisit the design of the system using synthetic data. The data would look so real that they would ask, “Where did you get our customer data?”
We would explain that we had a tool to model data and then we generated billions of customer transactions in just a few minutes. The power of showing rather than telling is what makes the Synthetic IO technology successful.
One of our favorite advocates of modeling with data is Ben Klemons. He has also written several books on this topic and others. You can find more information about Ben at his website – https://ben.klemens.org/p2.html