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Time to run:
1-3 hours

Data flow diagram template

Understand data processes for system

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Data flow diagrams (DFDs) are typically used by IT and engineering teams to show the flow of information, source of data inputs, and how that data is stored. These visual representations of a system can help be used to explain complex processes to key stakeholders or to build out new structures with your team.

Data flow diagrams visualize relationships between external entities, processes, data stores, and data flows. You can visualize data flows with both parallel and asynchronous behaviors using out data flow diagram template.

The data flow diagram template helps you:

  • Visualize the flow of information, including data sources and storage
  • Understand the relationships between different parts of the information ecosystem

How to use the data flow diagram template

To use Mural’s data flow diagram template, follow the steps outlined below with your team.

1. Define the data flow you want to diagram

The first stage in creating your diagram is to clearly define the data flow you’re going to focus on — this should be no longer than a phrase or one sentence.

2. Create your visual key for your diagram

Next, create a key that will make your diagram immediately clear to stakeholders. Use color-coded sticky notes, shapes, or icons to visually define data, processes, and external entities.

3. Visualize your data flow

Using the key, visualize your data flow by using connectors to show the relationships between each of the components of your diagram. If you have multiple data flows to map, take advantage of Mural’s infinite canvas to expand your mural to reflect all your processes.

Tips for running a data flow template session

To get the most out of Mural’s data flow diagram template, you should:

  • Invite a diverse group of stakeholders with direct knowledge of each part of your data flow in order to avoid any blind spots
  • Use sticky notes, shapes, or even icons & images to visualize the different components of your diagram — add colors to further bring your diagram to life
  • Keep your data flow diagrams up to date by regularly returning to your template and noting any changes or issues you have identified, speeding up time to solutions

How to create a Data flow diagram template

Mural’s visual diagramming tools make diagramming easy

Mural’s intuitive features and tools make it easy for any team to collaboratively diagram their data flows. From business process flowcharts to designing new workflows, Mural makes it easy to conduct brainstorming, coordinate projects, and improve how your teams work together.
Mapping and diagramming

Mapping and diagramming

Build quick and easy visualizations of flows, maps, processes, hierarchies, journeys, and more.

Icons, GIFs, & images

Icons, GIFs, & images

Express complex ideas visually or lead an engaging team-building activity with Noun Project, GIPHY, and Unsplash integrations.

Sticky notes & text

Sticky notes & text

Add ideas, action items, and more as a sticky note or text box — then change the colors and cluster to identify patterns and new solutions.

Video meeting integrations

Video meeting integrations

Seamlessly add visual collaboration to meetings with Microsoft Teams, Webex, and Zoom integrations.



Visualize ideas, prototype, and quickly annotate for a better-than-a-whiteboard experience.

Infinite & resizable canvas options

Infinite & resizable canvas options

Choose the right canvas for your collaboration goals — flexibility without limits.

Data flow diagram template frequently asked questions

What is meant by a data flow diagram?

How do you make a data flow diagram?

What are the stages of data flow?

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