What is a Data Flowchart?
A data flowchart is a graphic and systematic representation of how data or processes flow in a specific organization or company. This shows how information is being accessed and delivered to its respective clients. Every symbol in a flowchart contains a path for data to move from one information system to another.
How to Construct a Data Flowchart
Flowcharts are visual representations of the flow of data, but they are considered useless if they fail to deliver their intended purpose. So, for someone to design a flowchart effectively, they will have to know the different processes in the business and their functions or importance. As mentioned in an article on Harvard Business Review, 53% of corporate entities failed to consider data processes as business assets.
Of course, you should start with the gathering of the necessary details before doing anything else. After doing so, you can proceed to assemble the data that you have gathered to form the flowchart. For a more thorough set of instructions, a list is provided for you below.
1. Anticipate a Data Flow
Before you start adding shapes and lines to create the flowchart's framework, prepare a list of the various data that you want to include in your project. Since this is not yet final, consider this as your draft to help you sort things out when it's finally time to start adding your flowchart's actual content. Indeed, having the information laid out in advance can save you a lot of time since the only thing you'll need to do is arrange them logically.
2. Be Logical
As mentioned earlier, you have to be logical when organizing the details. Make sure that every data element seamlessly connects with the next one, and that it should create a continuous flow of processes with an expected end result. If in case there are certain data in your draft that don't fit in when added to the actual flowchart, you may either make revisions to it or remove it from the chart for as long as the flow of details can still be easily followed.
3. Use Flowchart Symbols
Not only a logical pace can guarantee you a valuable data flowchart because knowing what each symbol means can help you out. These symbols will help in sorting and evaluating the data so that your inputs and outputs will be balanced. Also, be consistent in the symbols that you use. Not only will using different symbols for the same data become confusing, but it will also make your chart look unprofessional.
4. Analyze Data Flow
After completing your flowchart's visuals, you can now start analyzing the flow of data that you have created. Do this by evaluating each process and checking if the transitions are seamless between two processes. Also, this would be the perfect time to proofread the content to see if there aren't any typographical, grammatical, or punctuation errors.
5. Make Use of a Data Flowchart Template
If the task is too overwhelming for you to handle, you can always take advantage of predesigned templates instead of starting from scratch. Various websites offer editable chart templates that you can download and customize, but we recommend using ones from our site. Moreover, even if you decide to use a template, you'll still need to consider the previous steps to ensure quality in your flowchart.