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Table of contents
1.
Easy Level Data Modeling Interview Questions
1.1.
1. What is data modeling?
1.2.
2. What are the different types of data models?
1.3.
3. What is data Modelling used for?
1.4.
4. What are the five steps of data modeling?
1.5.
5. What are the 4 levels of data model?
1.6.
6. What is the difference between logical and physical data models?
1.7.
7. What is a one-to-many relationship in a data model?
1.8.
8. What is a many-to-many relationship in a data model? 
1.9.
9. What is data modelling in SQL?
1.10.
10. What is data Modelling in ETL?
1.11.
11. What is data Modelling in OOP?
1.12.
12. What is a data model in DBMS?
1.13.
10. What is Normalization?
1.14.
10. What is Denormalization ?
1.15.
11. What is an index in a database ?
1.16.
12. What is an Enterprise Data Model?
1.17.
13. What does a data modeler use normalization for?
2.
Medium-Level Data Modeling Interview Questions
2.1.
14. What are the most common errors you can potentially face in data modeling?
2.2.
15. Explain the two different design schemas.
2.3.
16. What does ERD stand for, and What is it?
2.4.
17. What are the Critical Relationship types found in a Data Model?
2.5.
18. In the context of Data Modeling, What is the importance of metadata?
2.6.
19. What are subtype and supertype entities?
2.7.
20. What is a primary key constraint?
2.8.
21. What is a foreign key constraint? 
2.9.
22. What is a composite primary key constraint?
2.10.
23. What is relational data modeling?
3.
Hard-Level Data Modeling Interview Questions
3.1.
24. Should all Databases be rendered in 3NF?
3.2.
25. What’s the difference between forwarding and Reverse Engineering in the context of data models?
3.3.
26. What are recursive relationships, and how do you rectify them?
3.4.
27. Why are NoSQL Databases more useful than Relational Databases?
3.5.
28. List the types of hierarchies in data modeling.
3.6.
29. What is meant by chained data replication?
3.7.
30. What is virtual data warehousing in data modeling?
3.8.
31. Explain snapshot of data warehouse.
3.9.
32. Explain the different kinds of fact tables.
3.10.
33. Differentiate between OLAP and OLTP databases.
4.
Conclusion
Last Updated: Jun 13, 2024
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Top Data Modeling Interview Questions in 2023

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Data modeling is the process of designing how data is organized and stored in a way that makes it easy to use and understand. It involves identifying the important things we want to store data about and how they are related to each other. 

We then create a diagram called a data model that shows the structure of the data and how different parts of the data relate to each other. 

The goal of data modeling is to create a model that is efficient, organized, and easy to use for people who will be working with the data.

In this article, we are going to discuss Data Modeling Interview Questions. 

Top Data Modeling Interview Questions (2023)

Easy Level Data Modeling Interview Questions

In this section, we have provided some Easy Level Data Modeling Interview Questions. 

1. What is data modeling?

Data modeling is the process of creating a conceptual representation of data objects, their relationships, and the rules that govern them. It involves identifying the data that needs to be stored in a database, defining the relationships between the data, and creating a structure or schema that describes how the data will be stored and accessed.

2. What are the different types of data models?

There are several different types of data models, including:

  1. Conceptual data model
  2. Logical data model 
  3. Physical data model
  4. Hierarchical data model
  5. Network data model
     

3. What is data Modelling used for?

Data Modelling is an effective data organization and structure. It helps with database architecture, data integrity, performance optimization, and effective communication regarding the linkages and structures of the data.

4. What are the five steps of data modeling?

The five steps of data modeling are as follows: Requirements Gathering (determining the data requirements), Conceptual Modeling (defining of high-level entities and relationships), Logical Modeling (building a database schema), Normalization (reducing redundancy), and Physical Modeling (developing storage and indexing).
 

5. What are the 4 levels of data model?

The layers include conceptual (high-level entities and relationships), logical (data structure without implementation details), physical (storage and access mechanisms), and external (customized views for certain users or applications). On the depiction of data, they propose several viewpoints.

6. What is the difference between logical and physical data models?

A logical data model describes the data and its relationships in a business context, while a physical data model describes how that data is actually stored in a database management system.

7. What is a one-to-many relationship in a data model?

A one-to-many relationship is a type of relationship in which one record in a table can be related to many records in another table. 

1:n relationship

This is a common type of relationship that exists between entities in a database and is often used to represent hierarchical or parent-child relationships.
 

8. What is a many-to-many relationship in a data model? 

A many-to-many relationship is a type of relationship in a data model in which many records in one table can be related to many records in another table.

n:n relationship

This is a common type of relationship that exists between entities in a database and is often used to represent complex relationships between different data entities

9What is data modelling in SQL?

Data Modelling is the process of defining a database's structure using SQL commands. To properly organize and manage data within a database, it comprises establishing tables, relationships, constraints, and keys.

10. What is data Modelling in ETL?

Data modeling in ETL (Extract, Transform, Load) entails generating a visual representation of how data flows through the ETL procedure. It specifies the data's origin, transformation, and destination, guaranteeing that the data is correctly changed and loaded into the intended system.

11. What is data Modelling in OOP?

Data modeling in Object-Oriented Programming (OOP) is the process of creating classes and the connections between them to reflect actual objects and their interactions. For effective program creation and maintenance, it entails encapsulating data properties and behaviors within objects.

12. What is a data model in DBMS?

A data model in a database management system (DBMS) describes a database's structure, including its entities, characteristics, relationships, and constraints. It acts as a guide for how information is arranged, kept, and accessible in a database system.

10. What is Normalization?

Normalization is a process of organizing data in a database to reduce data redundancy and dependency. It is a technique that ensures that the database is structured in a way that reduces the likelihood of data inconsistencies and anomalies.

The goal of normalization is to minimize data duplication, which can lead to data inconsistencies, and to reduce the impact of changes in the data model on the rest of the database.
Also read anomalies in database 

10. What is Denormalization ?

Denormalization is the process of intentionally adding redundancy to a normalized database design. The purpose of denormalization is to improve the performance of the database by reducing the number of joins required to retrieve data.
 

11. What is an index in a database ?

An index in a database is a data structure that is used to improve the speed of data retrieval operations, such as SELECT statements. An index works by creating a copy of a portion of a database table, and organizing the data in a way that allows it to be searched more efficiently.

A unique index ensures that no two rows in a table have the same values in the indexed columns, while a non-unique index allows duplicate values.
 

12. What is an Enterprise Data Model?

An enterprise data model (EDM) is a comprehensive, high-level view of an organization's data assets and the relationships between them. It is a strategic tool that helps organizations manage and understand their data and can be used to guide data management decisions, support data governance initiatives, and facilitate communication between different departments and stakeholders.

13. What does a data modeler use normalization for?

A data modeler uses normalization to improve the quality of a database design by reducing data redundancy and dependency. 

data modeler

Normalization is a process that breaks down a database into smaller, related tables and uses relationships between the tables to link them together. The goal of normalization is to eliminate data redundancy, reduce data inconsistencies, and improve database performance.

Medium-Level Data Modeling Interview Questions

In this section, we have provided some Medium Level Data Modeling Interview Questions. 

14. What are the most common errors you can potentially face in data modeling?

There are several common errors that can occur when creating a data model. 

Some of the most common errors include:

  • Incomplete or inaccurate requirements gathering: Failure to properly gather and document requirements can lead to a data model that doesn't meet the needs of the organization.
  • Inappropriate modeling techniques: Choosing inappropriate modeling techniques or not following best practices can lead to a data model that is difficult to understand, maintain, or scale.
  • Overcomplicated data models: Creating data models that are too complex can make them difficult to understand and maintain. This can lead to errors or inaccuracies in the data.
     

15. Explain the two different design schemas.

In the context of database design, there are two different design schemas: top-down and bottom-up.

two different design schemas

  • Top-Down Design Schema: In this approach, the database design process starts by defining the overall structure of the database, including its entities and relationships.
  • Bottom-Up Design Schema: In this approach, the database design process starts by defining the individual tables and columns in the database.
     

16. What does ERD stand for, and What is it?

ERD stands for Entity Relationship Diagram. It is a graphical representation of entities and their relationships to each other within a database. ERDs are commonly used in database design and are helpful in visualizing the relationships between different types of data.

ERD

An ERD typically consists of entities, which represent objects or concepts in the database, and relationships, which represent the connections between entities. Entities are depicted as rectangles, while relationships are depicted as lines connecting entities.

17. What are the Critical Relationship types found in a Data Model?

In a data model, there are several critical relationship types that represent how entities are related to each other. 

These relationship types include:

  • One-to-One Relationship,
  • One-to-Many Relationship,
  • Many-to-Many Relationship,
  • Recursive Relationship,
  • Optional Relationship,
  • Mandatory Relationship
     

18. In the context of Data Modeling, What is the importance of metadata?

In the context of data modeling, metadata refers to the data that describes other data. It provides information about the structure, content, and context of the data. Metadata is essential in data modeling for several reasons:
 

  1. Data Understanding: Metadata helps in understanding the data by providing information about the meaning and context of the data. 
     
  2. Data Integration: Metadata helps in integrating data from different sources by providing information about the structure and format of the data.
     
  3. Data Governance: Metadata is critical for data governance, which is the process of managing the availability, usability, integrity, and security of data.
     
  4. Data Quality: Metadata is crucial in ensuring the quality of data. 
     
  5. Data Maintenance: Metadata helps in maintaining the data by providing information about the data's dependencies, usage, and changes over time.

19. What are subtype and supertype entities?

In data modeling, a supertype entity is a generalized entity that represents a set of more specific subtypes. Subtype entities are entities that inherit attributes and relationships from their supertype.

Supertype entities represent a set of common characteristics and relationships that are shared among several related subtypes. These subtypes inherit the attributes and relationships of the supertype but may also have additional attributes and relationships that are specific to them.
 

20. What is a primary key constraint?

In database management systems, a primary key constraint is a rule that enforces the uniqueness and non-nullability of a column or set of columns in a table. It ensures that each row in a table can be uniquely identified and accessed using the values in the primary key column(s).

21. What is a foreign key constraint? 

In database management systems, a foreign key constraint is a rule that ensures the referential integrity between two tables. It establishes a relationship between a column or set of columns in one table and the primary key column(s) in another table. 

The foreign key constraint ensures that the values in the referencing column(s) match the values in the referenced primary key column(s).

22. What is a composite primary key constraint?

A composite primary key constraint is a type of database constraint that defines a primary key using multiple columns rather than a single column.

In a relational database, a primary key is a unique identifier for each row in a table. It ensures that each row in the table is uniquely identifiable, and that there are no duplicate rows. A composite primary key constraint allows for a primary key to be defined using two or more columns in the table.
 

23. What is relational data modeling?

Relational data modeling is a process of designing the structure of a database that organizes data in tables, with each table representing a specific type of data. 

  • The relationships between these tables are defined by keys, which help to link data between tables. 
  • This approach to data modeling is popular because it is flexible, scalable, and efficient for managing and querying large datasets. 
  • It is widely used in applications such as e-commerce, banking, and healthcare to store and manage structured data.
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Hard-Level Data Modeling Interview Questions

In this section, we have provided some Hard Level Data Modeling Interview Questions.

24. Should all Databases be rendered in 3NF?

No, not all databases need to be rendered in 3NF (third normal form). The level of normalization required for a database depends on the specific requirements and characteristics of the data and the system that will use it.

Normalization is the process of organizing data in a database to eliminate redundant data and ensure data integrity. The 3NF is a level of normalization that requires a table to meet the requirements of the second normal form (2NF). Additionally, every non-key attribute is dependent on the primary key and not on other non-key attributes.

25. What’s the difference between forwarding and Reverse Engineering in the context of data models?

Forward engineering and reverse engineering are two processes related to the creation and maintenance of data models.

Forward engineering refers to the process of creating a new data model from scratch. Reverse engineering, on the other hand, is the process of creating a data model based on an existing database or system.

In the context of data models, forward engineering is typically used to design new systems or databases, while reverse engineering is used to document and understand existing systems or databases. Both processes are important for ensuring that data is represented accurately and completely and for maintaining the integrity and usability of the data over time.

26. What are recursive relationships, and how do you rectify them?

Recursive relationships, also known as self-referencing relationships, are relationships in a database where a table has a foreign key that references its own primary key. This type of relationship is used when there is a hierarchical relationship within a table, where one record is related to another record in the same table.

For example, consider a table that stores employee information. One of the fields in the table is the manager's ID, which is a foreign key that references the ID of the employee's manager in the same table. This creates a recursive relationship, where an employee can be a manager of other employees and can also have their own manager.

SELECT e1.name AS employee_name, e2.name AS manager_name
FROM employee e1
JOIN employee e2 ON e1.manager_id = e2.id

 

27. Why are NoSQL Databases more useful than Relational Databases?

NoSQL databases are not necessarily more useful than relational databases in all scenarios, as both types of databases have their own strengths and weaknesses. However, NoSQL databases can offer several advantages over relational databases in certain use cases. Here are a few reasons why NoSQL databases may be more useful than relational databases in some situations:

  • Scalability: NoSQL databases can easily handle large amounts of data and scale horizontally by adding more nodes to the database cluster. This makes NoSQL databases a popular choice for big data applications where data volumes are very high and need to be processed quickly.
     
  • Flexibility: NoSQL databases do not require a predefined schema like relational databases, so it's easier to add and modify data fields. This allows for more flexible data modeling and faster development cycles.
     
  • Performance: NoSQL databases can offer faster read and write performance compared to relational databases because they typically store data in a denormalized format, which eliminates the need for complex joins.
     
  • Cost: NoSQL databases are often less expensive than relational databases, as they can be run on commodity hardware and open source software, whereas relational databases typically require proprietary software and more powerful hardware.

 

28. List the types of hierarchies in data modeling.

In data modeling, hierarchies are used to represent relationships between data at different levels of granularity or abstraction. 

Here are some of the types of hierarchies that can be used in data modeling:

  1. Natural hierarchy
  2. Snowflake hierarchy
  3. Ragged hierarchy
  4. Balanced hierarchy
  5. Tree hierarchy
  6. Network hierarchy

 

29. What is meant by chained data replication?

Chained data replication is a method of replicating data between multiple nodes in a distributed system. In this method, each node in the system is responsible for replicating data to the next node in the chain. The last node in the chain replicates data back to the first node, creating a circular chain.

chained data replication

For example, suppose a distributed database system has three nodes labeled A, B, and C. In a chained data replication system, node A would replicate data to node B, node B would replicate data to node C, and node C would replicate data back to node A. This creates a circular chain of data replication.

30. What is virtual data warehousing in data modeling?

Virtual data warehousing is a method of gathering and analyzing data from different sources without physically moving the data into a single central location. Instead, the data is accessed and transformed in real-time using virtual views, which provide a logical representation of the data.

Think of it like a librarian who can access books from different libraries without physically moving the books into one single library.

31. Explain snapshot of data warehouse.

A snapshot of a data warehouse is a momentary picture of the data that is stored in the data warehouse. It's like taking a photograph of a specific point in time, and capturing all of the data that is in the data warehouse at that moment.

For example, let's say you have a data warehouse that stores information about customer orders. If you take a snapshot of the data warehouse at the end of the day, it will capture all of the orders that were placed up to that point in time. The snapshot will not include any new orders that are placed after the snapshot is taken.

32. Explain the different kinds of fact tables.

In data warehousing, a fact table is a central table that stores quantitative data, or facts, about a business process. There are different kinds of fact tables, each designed to store different types of quantitative data. Here are some of the most common types of fact tables:
 

  • Transactional Fact Tables: This type of fact table is used to record transactional data, such as sales transactions or purchase transactions.
  • Periodic Snapshot Fact Tables: This type of fact table is used to store data that is captured at regular intervals, such as daily, weekly, or monthly.
  • Accumulating Snapshot Fact Tables: This type of fact table is used to store data that is captured at various points in a business process, such as a customer support process.
  • Compliance Fact Tables: This type of fact table is used to store data related to compliance with regulations or policies.
     

33. Differentiate between OLAP and OLTP databases.

OLAP and OLTP databases are two different types of databases that are used for different purposes. 

Here are the important differences between OLTP and OLAP:

Parameters

OLTP

OLAP

GeneralIt is an online transactional system that manages database changes.It is a system for retrieving and analysing data online.
TimeIn OLTP, the transaction processing time is significantly less.In OLAP, the processing time is considerably longer due to the presence of a large database.
FocusFocuses on inserting, ipdating, and deleting information from the database.Main focus is to extract data for analysis to aid decision-making.
NormalizationThe OLTP database's tables are normalized (3NF).The OLAP database's tables are not normalized.
DataThe original sources of data are OLTP and its transactions.Various OLTP databases are used as data sources for OLAP.
IntegrityData integrity constraints must be maintained in an OLTP database.The OLAP database is not frequently changed. As a result, data integrity is unaffected.
TransactionShort transactions are common in OLTP.OLAP has long transactions.

 

Conclusion

To conclude the discussion, we have discussed Data Modeling Interview Questions. These questions cover almost every important aspect of Data Modeling. 

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