Posted: September 16th, 2022



A data flow diagram (DFD) shows how information flows within an information system. A DFD is a representation of the data flow and does not imply the activity order. A DFD is a model of a real-world business system represented through a hierarchy of abstracts through leveling. Lower levels of a DFD reflect more detail, and higher levels of a DFD reflect less detail. A logical system diagram describes the business events that take place and the data required for each business event, focusing on what information is flowing and what information is transmitted. A DFD will not go into technical (hardware and software) aspects of the system; it will show inputs and outputs from external sources, showing the path of data and how it flows through the system.


For this activity, you need to create a data flow diagram reflective of the following:

· Your experience registering for a course and then following the process through payment (or using financial aid).

· Access course catalog

· Review course options

· Select course to register for

· Complete registration

· Pay for course

Your DFD must include the listed processes and at least two subprocesses (levels) within two of the five main processes. Your diagram can reflect up to three levels: zero (the context diagram), one (subprocess), and two (functionality). The various levels of detail are:

· Level zero: Represents the overview of the entire system you are critiquing

· Level one: Breaks down the main functions of the system into smaller subprocesses

· Level two: Further breaks down subprocesses of level one

Use the symbols from the Gane and Sarson symbol set needed to illustrate data flow within your diagram:

· External entity = Square ⬜

· Data flow = Arrow →

· Process = Rounded square ▢

· Data stored = Rectangle ▭

Specifically, you must address the following rubric criteria:

Data Flow Diagram: Your diagram must be completed without any missing components. It needs to show how information flows within a system process. Remember: only DATA flows on data flows.

Hierarchical Leveling: Whether your diagram has one or three levels, it needs to illustrate how each level is broken down into smaller business events.

Data Flow Notation: Your diagram should include accurate and appropriate data flow notation. Whenever you are referring to a process, use a rounded square symbol. Whenever you are referring to data that is being stored, use a rectangle. It depends on the business process, but you may or may not have to use all Gane and Sarson symbols.

Logical System Functionality: Your diagram also needs to illustrate how business events are broken down into smaller subprocesses.

Guidelines for Submission

Upload a of your diagram with visio file if selected. You can use a tool of your choice to help you create the data flow diagram, but we recommend using Lucidchart,, or Microsoft Visio.

Getting Started in Lucidchart: The Basics

Visio 2016 Tutorial

Microsoft Azure Dev Tools for Teaching (link to access Visio) Quick Start Video Tutorial

 (1:35) Diagram Software

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