I’ve a test on this on Thursday, so i’m gonna kill two birds with the one stone here and turn it in to a creative blog post which (a) entertains you and (b) helps me learn about how these things work.
A Data Flow Diagram is a pretty cool way of summing up an entire organization’s ‘flow of information’ with a few arrows, circles and squares For a more boring, proper definition see here.
Now these lads seem like bread and butter, school-kid type stuff, but when you’re stuck with a few paragraphs of text and have to create one of these from your head, it’s not as easy at you may think 🙂
Circles represent systems, rectangles represent people and parallel lines represent storage/database and the arrows are the flow of information between the lot.
Here’s something which is so simple, yet invaluable as it sums up all of this stuff;
So you end up with a big pile of circles and rectangles and arrows all over the place. Looks great when done right, but one wrong arrow or using a rectangle instead of a circle fecks everything up and the whole system usually needs touching up then, at which stage things become messy…. so messy you end up scraping the lot and starting from scratch 🙂
Anyway, here are some cool charts / diagrams i’ve come across on the web;