Conceptual data models are used for discovery and validation communication between analysts and users; as a communication tool between analysts and designers; as a basis for end-user developed applications; and as part of the systems documentation (e.g., Batra and Davis 1992; Juhn and Naumann 1985; Siau et al. 1997). A goal of creating a conceptual model is to develop a database schema to be used to implement a database that meets the information needs of intended users. To develop a suitable database schema, the designer must be able to use the conceptual data model as a communication tool to verify the assumptions made in its creation. Batra and Davis state that the conceptual model must be capable of providing a structure for the database along with the semantic constraints for communication with users. The conceptual data model also serves as a representation of the database after its completion: it is part of the systems documentation, and hence can be used for system evaluation by auditors or others. Conceptual data models include several components, each of which provides information content. Siau et al. examined the use of two components in entity-relationship data models: the surface semantics and the structural constraints (participation cardinality) of the relationships.
Dunn, Cheryl and Grabski, Severin, "Syntactic and Semantic Understanding of Conceptual Data Models" (2001). ICIS 2001 Proceedings. 13.