Volume 1, Issue 10 - December 2007 Edition

Featured Articles

Now You See It . . . The Vanishing User Interface And The Ubiquity Of Information
By Ian Rowlands

As information technology matures, the tools needed to provide knowledge workers with relevant information are becoming more enmeshed in the day-to-day activities of the knowledge workers themselves and, therefore, transparent. As we continue to develop the knowledge-based economy, the user interfaces for tools that knowledge workers use to acquire the information they need are becoming so transparent as to be almost invisible, ambient aspects of the knowledge workers’ environment rather than visible, discrete elements. This process has profound implications on knowledge workers, the information in which they trade and the approaches that IT must take towards providing knowledge workers with relevant, valuable information.

Monthly Columnists

The other day I was at a review of a company’s plan for DSS and analytical processing.  I heard something that piqued my interest.  When the question was asked – “what architecture do you follow?” the client responded  – “we have Microsoft for our architecture.”

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In part one of this series I discussed the importance of managing data as a corporate asset and the vital role that meta data management plays. Over the next several months I will present several common business challenges and how a managed meta data environment (MME) addresses them .

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It seems like there are endless levels of planning and challenges that are encountered in data warehousing/business intelligence efforts. One specific challenge that has caused many a project to fall into an “analysis paralysis” trap is the detailed definition of all requirements and thus metrics. Requirements definition typically means different things to each person. Yet, requirements are either loosely defined, or buttoned down to the extent they are not flexible. You can easily spend months to a year trying to come up with all of the calculations a business “MIGHT” need.

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Master data management (MDM) is currently being hyped as new technology, which will help organizations standardize their data about core business entities (e.g., customer, product, employee, and so on). Sounds good – but wait. Didn’t we try to achieve these benefits with enterprise resource planning (ERP), data warehousing (DW), and customer relationship management (CRM), just to name a few? What went wrong?

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Generally, governance is a long-term strategic initiative, but data governance can also deliver short-term, tactical benefits. The need for both strategic and tactical approaches to data governance contributes to an organization’s confusion on where to begin. Many organizations have struggled with understanding the need for understanding their data, although data is one of an organization’s critical assets.

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Typically, business intelligence (BI) environments are initially constructed and deployed to internal clients across the corporate local area network or Intranet. Warehouse manager and architects have a reasonable sense of security knowing that their data, the corporate knowledge base, is located many levels away from outside access protected by various network security mechanisms. Evaluation of BI access components is made with a focus on performance, scalability, and reliability. Very few initial BI architectures take in to account the possibility of making the data warehouse accessible and secure for Internet accessibility.

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Letter From The Editor

This month the EIMInstitute is pleased to have Bill Inmon back and answering the question, “is Microsoft an Architecture?”  Also, joining us for the second time is Ian Rowland who, this month, focuses on technology as a transparent component of our lives.


The December issue of EIMInstitute Magazine is filled with critical information from several data experts looking at ways to avoid analysis paralysis, data redundancy, quality controls, security, internet safeguards and much more.  Each article deals with the issue that there are no quick fixes or shortcuts when it comes to your company’s greatest asset, data.


We hope that you find these articles helpful and encourage you to join EIMI.  It’s free and will provide you with a wealth of research now and in the future.  Articles are constantly added to the archives and resource portals, so join us now!

If you have any questions or comments about the magazine or the institute, please contact me at cklima@EIMInstitute.org.

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