The main reason why the DFD technique is so popular is probably because of the fact that DFD is a very simple formalism – it is simple to understand and use. Starting with a set of high-level functions that a system performs, a DFD model hierarchically represents various sub-functions. In fact, any hierarchical model is simple to understand. Human mind is such that it can easily understand any hierarchical model of a system – because in a hierarchical model, starting with a very simple and abstract model of a system, different details of the system are slowly introduced through different hierarchies.

The data flow diagramming technique also follows a very simple set of intuitive concepts and rules. DFD is an elegant modeling technique that turns out to be useful not only to represent the results of structured analysis of a software problem, but also for several other applications such as showing the flow of documents or items in an organization.