"A data architecture should set data standards for all its data systems as a vision or a model of the eventual interactions between those data systems. Data integration, for example, should be dependent upon data architecture standards since data integration requires data interactions between two or more data systems. A data architecture, in part, describes the data structures used by a business and its computer applications software. Data architectures address data in storage and data in motion; descriptions of data stores, data groups and data items; and mappings of those data artifacts to data qualities, applications, locations etc.
Essential to realizing the target state, Data Architecture describes how data is processed, stored, and utilized in an information system. It provides criteria for data processing operations so as to make it possible to design data flows and also control the flow of data in the system."
Realizing the target state
If data is the most important asset of an organization, then the understanding and planning of data assets is crucial to the future success of an organization. Essential to realizing the future shape of the data, Data Architecture is the process of defining how data is stored, used, and processed. The Data Architect is responsible for defining the target state, alignment during development to the target state and then minor follow up to ensure enhancements are done in the spirit of the original design. During the definition of the target state, the Data Architecture breaks a subject down to the atomic level and then builds it back up to the desired form. The Data Architect breaks the subject down by going through 3 architectural processes:
ConceptualRepresents all business entities.
LogicalRepresents the logic of how entities are related.
PhysicalThe actual data stored on the storage media, the realization of the data for a specific function (storage, history, integration, updates, search, reporting, analytics, etc).