Introduction to System Context Diagram with Editable Examples

Last updated on August 23, 2021 by

A context diagram is a visual representation of the relationship between data and business processes. This diagram has 3 main components which include external entities, system processes, and data flows. It provides the factors and events you need to consider when developing a system. With it, you will be able to determine the scope, boundaries, and system requirements. It does not, however, include the sequence of events, timing, or any technical information. Hence, it’s a great tool to help explain the system to business analysts, stakeholders, and developers. To help explain further, we’ve prepared some context diagram examples to help you create a visual model of your project or system process and data flow.

Context Diagram: Definition, Symbols and Examples

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Benefits of using Context Diagram

Prior to creating a diagram for business projects, one should be familiar with this diagram’s pros and cons. As mentioned, the diagram does not show any details regarding the technical structure. As such, it is one of the best illustrations to present your business project. This way you can clearly explain the project to an audience with no technical knowledge. A system context diagram is an excellent tool for any line of business that needs an automated system of services.

Symbols used in Context Diagram

All diagrams display particular symbols according to their uses. Read along as we show the symbols when developing a system with a context diagram and their functions.

symbols of context diagram

External Entity- an element in the system diagram that inputs data into the information system and retrieves processed data.

Process- refers to the entire process of the system. This is responsible for processing and distributing information to the entities of the system context diagram.

Flow Line- this element depicts the flow of the data within the system. It is supported by text to show what type of data is being sent.

Free and Editable Context Diagram Examples

Hotel Reservation System

business context diagram
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This diagram shows how an automated hotel reservation system works. The Booking Room at the center is responsible for the information it receives and retrieves. Furthermore, the arrows include text labels to indicate the data flowing.

ATM Machine

system context diagram
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You can also use a system context diagram to analyze the ATM process. Here the diagram depicts the hardware and software required. In addition, it includes the type of data flowing represented using arrows. This can go handy if you are planning to set up an ATM business or developing software for your client.

Library management system

context diagram
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The next example is a Library management system. It shows the process of a student reserving a book. The diagram helps you track the activities and accurately display the booking status. Using this illustration, the library staff can easily manage the library returns and reservations of books.

Online Ordering System

business context diagram
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This outline is an example of a business context diagram. This is a good illustration to clearly understand the process within a system when ordering online. It consists of several entities including the customer, manager, meal deliverer, the process performed, and arrows of data information flowing in the system.


When planning to start a business or develop a program, it’s important to understand the logic of the data flow and processes of a system. Thus, you can make use of the editable system and business context diagram examples above to present your business project with an easily understandable illustration.

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Posted by: on to Tips and Resources. Last updated on August 23, 2021

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  • Wonderful article! thank you so much for this informative post. I am sure that I will be able to make good use of these examples.