Creating a semantic model with concepts from DBpedia

Dear community,

I’d like to make a business case to use DBpedia as basis for a conceptual model, but I’d like to have your opinion if I’m on the right track or not.

My client is a big Dutch company in the financial sector. They process a lot of data and are creating a data platform for it. They like to make this data available to the business through a conceptual model that holds the concepts known to the end users. A conceptual model is very nicely described here (Conceptual schema - Wikipedia)

Currently, the company is creating a greenfield conceptual model in UML (class diagram). Since many concepts are already on DBpedia, why not use that to the benefit? And if there are concepts that can be improved, I could do that via a change proposal to DBpedia (at least, that is what I figured).

First, I would need to make a compelling statement to create an ontology instead of an UML class diagram. While RDF is much more expressive, I see that UML class diagrams are favoured for creating data models. Therefore, I’d love to have facts/figures how to persuade my colleagues why OWL2 should be favoured over UML when creating a conceptual model.

Second, if I make an ontology that serves as a conceptual model, how can I best align/contribute to DBpedia? Two thoughts that I have… should I (1) cherry pick the DBpedia-concepts and extend from that (using the sameAs-relation). The extension would not be public available, but I can add generic concepts to DBpedia following this tutorial “How to edit the DBpedia Ontology” (How to edit the DBpedia Ontology - DBpedia Mappings) or (2) should I try to use DBpedia as a basis and add all missing concepts as I go?

Looking forward to any responses.