Our Misson:

To Integrate Data, Systems,

& People Through Reusable Models

Universal Data

Models Overview

Universal Data Models, LLC helps organizations substantially reduce the time and costs of developing enterprise data models, logical data models, database designs and data warehouse designs via its unique re-usable templates or Universal Data Models. UDM provides consulting, training, data model repositories and publications towards promoting re-use of data model components.

UDM was founded by Len Silverston, an expert on data modeling, data integration, and re-usable data models, methods and solutions in order to produce much higher quality models in a shorter period of time. Mr. Silverston is an author of the best-selling book series The Data Model Resource Book (Volumes 1, 2, 3).

Universal Data Models, LLC enables the integration of information, systems, and people via “Universal” solutions including models, services, tools and methodologies. These solutions include template industry data models, template Universal Data Models™ and Universal Patterns for Data Modeling™ for all enterprises, and “human dynamics” services to help in effective organizational and human interactions to promote integration.

Our Clients

We have been helping many of the leading organizations around the world integrate their data and develop quality data models in a fraction of the time that it normally would take. We have very satisfied customers in a wide variety of industries, including health care, banking, telecommunications, insurance, manufacturing, financial securities, education, distribution, retail, travel, and more. Some of these organizations are global Fortune 100 enterprises with hundreds of thousands of employees and are the largest in their industry. Other clients are medium as well as small organizations.

Why Choose

Universal Data Models (UDM)

Highest Quality Starting Data Models

By using these proven data models constructs, the enterprise can form a stable and more easy maintainable data model. Mr. Silverston has been data modeling for 25 years and has been developing and refining re-usable data models for the last 15 years. He has documented many of them in his best selling book The Data Model Resource Book and conducts public courses throughout the country, allowing him to receive great deals of feedback so he can continually improve the models. He has implemented these models in numerous diverse organizations, validating and updating the data models in an ongoing fashion.

Unparalleled Client Satisfaction

UDM has exceeded clients’ expectations on virtually every jump-start data model engagement thus far and is dedicated towards achieving unparalleled client satisfaction. UDM and Mr. Silverston are committed to doing whatever that is within our power to continue providing the highest levels of client satisfaction possible.

Best Selling Books

Mr. Silverston’s book The Data Model Resource Book provides precise documentation and examples of data instances. This provides clients with a clear guide towards understanding the rationale behind many of the base ‘universal data model’ constructs. The book was rated as #12 on the Computer Literacy Best Seller list and has already sold tens of thousands of copies.

Experience and Universal
Models in Many Industries

UDM has a great deal of experience in many industries and has applied them widely across various types of enterprises.

Proven Data Model Constructs
that Really Work


UDM has developed data models for numerous organizations who have gone on to use the models towards successful integrated application development efforts. In most cases, more than 60% of the client’s data model incorporated Universal Data Model constructs, allowing us to focus on the more unique aspects of the organization instead of on common constructs that have been already modeled.

Tremendous Savings in Time and Costs


UDM has continually refined the approach, and has helped many organizations develop their data model in a fraction of the time that it would normally take, while increasing the quality of their models.

Data Model Resource Repository
for Jump-Starting the Effort and Providing a Valuable Reference


Universal Data Models clients can license the library of models as part of our engagements (or on their own) and this provides the latest versions of the Universal Data Model repository. The repository contains over 230 subject data areas corresponding to the data model diagrams in The Data Model Resource Book plus additional models that have been developed since then. It contains comprehensive definitions for entities and attributes, and extensive details such as domains, data types and lengths.

Success Stories

Red Robin Wins Technical
Excellence Award Thanks to UDM

"Red Robin International has recently been recognized in the restaurant industry for technical excellence and was awarded the Team Excellence Award by Nation’s Restaurant News in part because of the Data Warehousing project led by Len Silverston of Universal Data Models. This project jump started Red Robin International into the data mining analysis very quickly and at a relatively low cost thanks to the templates provided by Universal Data Models and their existing models. Our business partners – Finance and Operations were quick to see the advantages and with little or no learning curves were producing cost saving reports that increased Red Robin’s bottom line so that the implementation costs were covered in a matter

of weeks!"

Howard Jenkins, VP-MIS "Of Service"
Corporate Support Center
Tailored Designs within
10 Business Days

"Within a short period of 10 business days, Mr. Len Silverston delivered a corporate data model repository using his extensive library of universal data models and data warehouse designs that was tailored to A I M Management Group, Inc., a 30 billion dollar organization. Mr. Silverston’s expertise proved invaluable to the success of our projects."

Ted Kowalski, Author of ‘Opening Doors: A Facilitator’s Handbook’ and formerly head of data administration for A I M Management Group, Inc.
Pueblo Community College Saves Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars

"Data Warehousing, we hardly knew how to spell it. Given the charge to develop a Data Warehousing facility for 14 community colleges, we invested considerable time in researching options. Microsoft was extremely interested in our project and was instrumental in our getting to know Len Silverston.

After my initial meeting with Len, we entered into a contract that in the long run would save the Colorado Community College and Occupational Education System hundreds of thousands

of dollars.

Len concentrated his expertise into organizing our pilot project and helped coordinate our meetings with the various constituents representing various areas of the colleges, such as: Business Managers, Student Services, Institutional Research, etc. Len's ability to coordinate, document, set direction, keep timetables and instruct my project team in the initial designs of the project were priceless. This management of the project enabled my technical staff and myself the time to concentrate on a prototype project. Without his guidance, this project would most likely still be in the development stages and costing us dearly in time and expenditures."

Joseph L. Misiaszek, Manager of Information Technology, Pueblo Community College
One Architect.
Three Successful Integration Projects.

"I was introduced to the Universal Data Model in 1997 when I was the enterprise data architect at Janus Funds. Len provided his Universal Data Model (UDM) as a solution to help us consolidate data from multiple and disparate databases. The challenge was to separate data from legacy applications and to position it for universal access. The business had grown to a point where a multitude of FoxPro applications/databases had to be replaced with a more optimal set of applications, and the the data moved to an enterprise Oracle platform. The UDM provided the perfect template for doing this.

My next deployment of the UDM was at Cendant Galileao, a large travel global distribution systems (GDS) company. We needed an enterprise data model (EDM) to support the shared travel platform. The shared travel platform business domain model had to correspond to the EDM and it required common business entities across services. The UDM provided the flexibility to categorize party, transaction and product information. The UDM worked well at accommodating different roles that people and organizations assumed. For instance, an airline could assume the role of a travel supplier and a travel agent in the same transaction. The UDM party roles and relationships sorted out these complexities and could accommodate any type of travel transaction.

Presently, I'm at CaridianBCT, a medical device manufacturer. I'm using the UDM as it was purchased through Embarcadero. The UDM is in the form of an ER/Studio data model with all corresponding metadata. The challenge here is to take the current environment from multiple data stores with varying forms of customer and product data and consolidate it into a single, enterprise master data repository. The master data repository will be positioned as an information service for any subscribing service to consume. This includes a brand new enterprise data warehouse, a field service application, global ERP system and manufacturing applications. This manufacturing firm is experiencing tremendous growth where the IT shop has gone from small and local to having to support a $1 billion, global company. This means positioning the data assets in the most efficient manner is critical. The UDM has provided an excellent jump start to achieving our goal of having a "gold copy" of enterprise data."

Wes Bennett, Enterprise Architect


Len Silverston is a best-selling author, consultant and speaker with over 25 years of experience helping organizations integrate their information, systems and people. Mr. Silverston is a thought leader in the fields of data modeling, data management and in the human dynamics of integrating information. He has been a pioneer in the field, most notably by developing an extensive library of "Universal Data Models", or re-usable models, which he has used to help many organizations to develop data models in much less time, with much greater quality.

Mr. Silverston is the author of The Data Model Resource Book series, which describe over 230 reusable, holistic data models. It  was rated #12 on the Computer Literacy Best Seller List and has been translated into Chinese. In 2009, he co-authored and published his latest work, “The Data Model Resource Book, Volume 3, Universal Patterns for Data Modeling”.


Mr. Silverston has published many articles and has been a keynote speaker around the world at many international conferences talking on subjects ranging from re-usable models for integration, to politics, power and culture in information management.

Mr. Silverston is the winner of the prestigious DAMA (Data Administration Management Association) International Professional Achievement Award for 2004 and the DAMA International Community Award for 2006. Mr. Silverston's company, Universal Data Models, provides consulting, training, publications and software to enable integration of information, systems and people via “Universal” solutions. Mr. Silverston is also a fully ordained Zen priest and provides assistance and services via ‘Zen With Len’

UDM History

The Birth of Universal Data Models Concept

In 1990 and 1991, after 8 years of data modeling consulting experience working for companies such as Andersen Consulting and Oracle, Len Silverston was contracted as a data model consultant for a large telecommunications company to help them develop an enterprise data model, along with about 100 other modelers. After spending $150 million on their data model, the company decided that they did not receive benefit from it, and cancelled the effort. After this engagement, Mr. Silverston decided that he either needed to leave the data management field since it seemed so unproductive, or else change the industry, so organizations did not have to repeat wasteful efforts like this.

In the beginning of 1992, he opted for the latter and started developing re-usable or “Universal” data models so that organizations did not have to waste time and money while developing suboptimal models since they were "re-inventing the wheel" when data modeling.


The first edition of The Data Model Resource Book was published. Authored by Len Silverston, Kent Graziano (a senior database consultant at Quest) and Bill Inmon (industry leader and data warehouse consultant), this book contained a library of "Universal Data Models" and sold extremely well, thus popularizing the idea of Universal Data Models. It was rated #12 on the Computer Literacy Best Seller’s List.


Each year, Universal Data Models has conducted jump-start programs to many large, medium and small organizations. We receive emails from hundreds of organizations using the Universal Data Models over the years. We estimate that thousands of organizations use these models and The Data Model Resource Books has sold tens of thousands of copies over the years.


Due to the success of the first book and continuing adoption and usage of Universal Data Models worldwide, the Data Models Resource Books: Revised Edition, Volumes 1 and 2 are published. Also released were electronic versions of the SQL for both the latest common and industry data models in electronic formats on the internet at wiley.silverston.com.


Numerous benchmarks rated the UDM Data Model Repository #1, such as Data Blueprint, a data management consulting firm, that conducted a six month intensive analysis of data model template solutions and deemed UDM’s solution as the best price/value combination. Benchmarks within international enterprises also concluded that UDM is the best solution and this led to these enterprises licensing the UDM repository.


Mr. Silverston conducts many presentations and seminars on human dynamics, politics and culture, in the context of information management and integration.

Universal Data Models develops many tools, techniques, solutions, courses, consulting offerings and research regarding ways to effectively navigate politics, culture and human interaction, which are perhaps the key to success in integration efforts.


Universal Data Models partners with Embarcdero, who offer the latest Universal Data Models in Embarcadero’s data modeling tool, ER/Studio. Copies of the UDM Repository are licensed around the world through Embarcadero. Embarcadero offers the common UDM models and industry models, and for the first time also offers individual subject data areas, such as party, product, order, and more, that can be individually licensed and downloaded directly from the Web.


In 1992, Len Silverston started an organization called Quest Database Consulting that focused on data management, data modeling and database solutions. One of the key initiatives was the development of re-usable data models for common types of data that seemed to be prevalent in almost all organizations. For example, the modeling of people, organizations, orders, invoices, payments work efforts, accounting, budgeting and many other data areas seemed to appear in most of the data modeling assignments. So Mr. Silverston and many of the other Quest consultants were able to develop and re-use a common library of data models to save significant amounts of time on data modeling engagements for many clients, while improving the quality of the data models and designs.


Len Silverston closed Quest Database Consulting and moved all the intellectual property and assets to his new company, Universal Data Models, LLC. The vision of this enterprise was to focus on re-usable models to help companies integrate their information, systems and people. Hundreds of re-usable data models including common models needed by all enterprises, as well as industry specific data models, were developed and licensed to organizations worldwide.


Microsoft licenses the Universal Data Model repository worldwide. Microsoft acknowledged the Universal Data Models as "best of breed" and purchased a license to use and distribute these models worldwide. The SQL for the UDMs were included in many versions of SQL Server.


The Universal Data Model repository offered in ERwin. Previously, the Universal Data Model repository was maintained and licensed in Oracle Designer. At this time, hundreds of subject data area models including common and industry models are offered with complete definitions and details in ERwin data modeling tool format. Enterprises around the world start licensing the models in ERwin format.


Len Silverston is awarded the prestigious 2004 DAMA (Data Management Association) International Achievement Award by DAMA International at the annual conference, for his significant contribution in advancing the data management field via his revolutionary and popular concept, development, and distribution of Universal Data Models to help many organizations worldwide.

Universal Data Models offers human dynamics training and consulting for data management. After decades of experiences in data management programs, Universal Data Models, LLC starts its research and development efforts regarding “Universal Principles” and the human dynamics involved in achieving data management and data integration success.


Len Silverston is awarded the 2006 DAMA International Community Award for his contribution in helping the data management community. Mr. Silverston is appointed as an advisor to the DAMA International board, where he still serves today.

Universal Data Models partners with Siperian. Siperian customers license and use the Universal Data Models in their master data management solutions.


Publishing and release of “The Data Model Resource Book, Volume 3, Universal Patterns for Data Modeling” By Len Silverston and Paul Agnew (a Senior Consultant at Universal Data Models who has worked with UDM and Len for the last 7 years). Volume 3 includes provides patterns for the most prevalent data modeling constructs such as ways to model roles, hierarchies, classifications, statuses, contact information and business rules.