Free online data flow diagram maker

Make data flow diagrams on our beginner-friendly platform with an intuitive interface similar to MS office. Easily get started with our massive collection of templates.

Easy-to-use data flow diagram maker.

20,000 templates & 26,000 symbols for all needs.
Explore nearly 20,000 templates and 26,000 symbols for over 210 types of diagrams including numerous data flow diagrams. Whether you are looking for one of online shopping, hotel management, hospital management, or others, EdrawMax has you covered.
Customize at ease.
Drag and drop symbols from the libraries that appear automatically after you choose a template. Try One-click Beautify function to increase efficiency. Create your personal templates and save self-made elements in your own libraries for future use. Group objects.
Integrated with MS Office.
Circle areas of the diagram to directly generate a slideshow. Preview and export it in the ppt format. Also, you can choose to export your diagrams in the format of word or excel and edit them there.
Perfect alternative to Visio.
Try EdrawMax, which is available on macOS and has a free version, as a replacement of Visio. Import a VSDX file or export a diagram to cooperate with other team members using Visio.
Export your files in various formats.
Export your diagrams in JPG or PNG format for viewing, PDF format sharing, or SVG format for further editing. EdrawMax offers over 10 export options to suit your needs.

Data flow diagram maker for everyone.

System Analysts
Use DFDs to visually map data flow, aiding in system understanding and efficient information system design and analysis.
Software Developers
Employ DFDs to comprehend data inputs, processes, and outputs, facilitating efficient coding and development phases in software projects.
Project Managers
Use DFDs for planning and managing projects by visually representing data flow, dependencies, and communication within the system.
Database Designers
Use DFDs to identify data sources, destinations, and storage locations, supporting the creation of well-structured and efficient database schemas.
Business Analysts
Apply DFDs to model and analyze business processes, aiding in the identification of data requirements and improving business workflows.
Quality Assurance (QA) Professionals
Utilize DFDs to design comprehensive test cases, ensuring accurate and efficient data processing during software testing phases.

Why teams choose EdrawMax?

Seamless Teamwork
EdrawMax facilitates real-time collaboration, allowing team members to work together on diagrams and share feedback instantly, fostering teamwork, and accelerating project progress.
Enhanced Efficiency
With its intuitive interface, pre-made templates, and extensive symbol libraries, EdrawMax enables teams to create professional-quality diagrams quickly, saving time, reducing effort, and increasing productivity.
All in One
EdrawMax allows for making 280+ types of diagrams including flowcharts, mind mapps, Gantt charts, timelines and more, streamlining workflows and eliminating the need for multiple software, enhancing convenience.
Improved Communication
Use visually compelling diagrams to convey complex ideas, facilitating clear and concise communication within teams and with stakeholders, boosting understanding and decision-making processes.
What is
a data flow diagram?

A Data Flow Diagram (DFD) is a graphical representation of the flow of data through an information system. It visually depicts how data moves from input to processing and then to output, showcasing the paths and destinations of data within the system. DFDs are used in the analysis and design phases of system development to provide a clear picture of how data is handled.

DFDs are composed of several key components: processes, data stores, data flows, and external entities. Processes represent activities that transform data from one form to another. Data stores are repositories where data is held for later use. Data flows show the direction and nature of data movement. External entities, often outside the system scope, interact with the system by providing or receiving data.

The strength of a DFD lies in its simplicity and clarity. It uses a limited set of symbols, making it easy to understand and interpret. This simplicity allows stakeholders with varying levels of technical expertise to engage with and understand the system’s data processes./p>

DFDs are valuable for both documenting existing systems and planning new ones. They help identify inefficiencies, redundancies, and bottlenecks in data processing. By providing a bird’s-eye view of how data is managed, DFDs enable system designers to optimize processes and improve system functionality.

Benefits of
the data flow diagram.

Data Flow Diagrams (DFDs) offer numerous benefits in system analysis and design, serving as a pivotal tool for both developers and stakeholders.

Firstly, DFDs provide a clear visualization of the system's data flow. This visual representation makes it easier to understand how data moves through the system, from input to processing and finally to output. This clarity is invaluable in identifying the functionality of the system and ensuring all necessary processes are included and correctly linked.

Secondly, DFDs aid in communication and collaboration. They serve as a common language between different team members, including analysts, designers, and stakeholders. By presenting system information in a straightforward, graphical format, DFDs facilitate better understanding and discussions among team members, leading to more effective and efficient project development.

Thirdly, DFDs are instrumental in identifying redundancies and inefficiencies. By mapping out all data processes and flows, it becomes easier to spot unnecessary steps or processes that can be streamlined. This leads to optimized system design, improving overall efficiency and performance.

Finally, DFDs assist in system documentation and future maintenance. They provide a detailed blueprint of the system's data processes, which is crucial for future reference and updates. This comprehensive documentation is invaluable for new team members and for maintaining and upgrading the system over time.

Practices of
making data flow diagrams.

Data Flow Diagrams (DFDs) are a crucial tool in system analysis and design, providing a visual representation of data processing. To effectively utilize DFDs, understanding best practices is essential.

Firstly, clarity is key. DFDs should be simple and straightforward, avoiding unnecessary complexity. Use standard symbols and notation consistently throughout the diagram. This includes clearly marked processes, data flows, data stores, and external entities. Keeping the design uncluttered enhances understanding and communication among stakeholders.

Secondly, accuracy in representing the system's processes is vital. Ensure each process is accurately depicted, showing how data flows through the system. It's important to focus on the flow of data, rather than the underlying technology or hardware. This helps in identifying and eliminating inefficiencies in the system.

Furthermore, modularity is beneficial. Break down complex systems into smaller, manageable DFDs. This hierarchical approach, starting from a high-level overview and drilling down into detailed sub-processes, aids in comprehensive analysis and easier maintenance.

Lastly, involve stakeholders throughout the DFD development process. Regular reviews with users, analysts, and developers ensure the diagram remains aligned with the actual system requirements and functionality. This collaborative approach fosters a shared understanding and better system design.

Types of data flow diagrams.

DFD Hospital Management
DFD for Online Shopping
DFD for Hotel Management

Six steps to make a data flow diagram.

  • Determine the boundaries and scope of the data flow diagram.
  • Identify the main processes within the system and their interactions.
  • Determine the data flows between processes, data stores, and external entities.
  • Identify the data stores where data is stored and accessed.
  • Describe the nature and content of the data flowing between processes, data stores, and external entities.
  • Ensure the data flow diagram accurately represents the system's data flow and relationships, and make any necessary adjustments for clarity and completeness.

What our customers say.

Nathan Lao, database designer
EdrawMax is an excellent choice for database design. The extensive template library, especially for data flow diagrams, has saved me countless hours. The customization options has saved me a lot of time and efforts. Actually, it's become my go-to solution for all types of diagrams. EdrawMax's user-friendly interface and powerful functionalities make it easy for both beginners and experienced designers to create visually stunning and effective diagrams. Highly recommended for anyone seeking a versatile and efficient diagramming tool.
Cyril Black, project manager
EdrawMax has revolutionized our project management meetings. The seamless MS Office integration simplifies the sharing of diagrams as slideshows, enhancing our communication and collaboration. The platform's versatility and intuitive interface make it an invaluable asset for our team. From project planning to execution, EdrawMax has proven to be an essential tool that boosts efficiency and ensures clear visual representation. It's become an integral part of our workflow, providing us with the tools we need for effective project communication.
Frank Thornton, software programmer
EdrawMax stands out as a superior Visio alternative. The free version's robust features, combined with seamless compatibility with Visio files, have made the transition smooth and efficient. The export options, covering a wide range of formats, add to its adaptability. EdrawMax has become my top choice for diagramming, providing the flexibility and functionality needed for collaborative projects. Whether creating intricate data flow diagrams or simplifying complex processes, EdrawMax offers a comprehensive and user-friendly solution that caters to various design needs.

FAQs about data flow diagram makers.

  • Yes, there are many free data flow diagram makers available. For example, is open-source. Also, EdrawMax offers a free trial version that allows users to create data flow diagrams with access to most basic functions.
  • Yes, there are online data flow diagram tools like Miro or Lucidchart. ALso, EdrawMax offers an online version that allows users to create data flow diagrams directly in their web browser.
  • Yes, most data flow diagram makers like EdrawMax allow you to export your diagrams to various file formats such as PDF, PNG, or SVG, making it easy to share or integrate them into other documents or presentations.
  • Yes, many data flow diagram makers offer collaboration features that allow multiple users to work on the same diagram. This enables teams to collaborate in real-time, providing a seamless and efficient workflow.
  • Yes, it is possible to create a basic data flow diagram in Word using shapes and lines. However, for more complex and professional-looking data flow diagrams, it is recommended to use specialized diagramming software like EdrawMax. EdrawMax offers a user-friendly interface, a wide range of pre-designed templates, and advanced features that make creating data flow diagrams easier and more efficient. With EdrawMax, you can create professional-looking data flow diagrams that effectively communicate the flow of information within a system.