Volume 2, Issue 4 - July 2008 Edition

Featured Articles

“What’s In YOUR Data Architecture?” Part Three
By Mark Mosley

A popular credit card commercial asks, “What’s in YOUR wallet?” I’ve been asking a similar question of data architects at several different organizations – “What’s in YOUR data architecture?” In Part One of this article, I rephrased this question more precisely to be, “What specification artifacts should be in your target enterprise data architecture?” and identified three major components of enterprise data architecture. In Part Two, I described the core of any enterprise data architecture – the enterprise data model. In Part Three, I will overview two major complimentary components — information value chain analysis and related data delivery architecture.

Monthly Columnists

A Chief Financial Officer (CFO) was approached by the CEO and asked for an accounting of the company’s financial assets. The CFO gave a vague response indicating a lack of knowledge of the corporate bank accounts, had little idea what was in each account, and had no idea about the status of accounts receivable. The Board of Directors asked the CEO about the intended use of the corporate assets and they were told “there is no plan for their use.” The CFO and the CEO were soon pursuing new personal interests.

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One significant cause of failure in analytical solution projects is allowing enough time for adequate user adoption of a solution. Too often, solutions are viewed only as technical projects and the project is recognized as complete when the database is populated or the tool that will provide reports or ad-hoc query access is put against it. While the technical parts of the effort appear to be complete, as the users first begin to navigate the data and the tool with live production data, there will be several necessary enhancements and fixes that need to occur in order for the customer to see the solution as effective. When this occurs, the result is often an unhappy user.

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Enterprise Information Management (EIM) is a very large, complex and diversified field. One company may be working on master data management while another may be embarking on a data quality initiative. Both of these organizations are doing EIM. One is focusing on master data management and the other on data quality. What is critical is that both realize that these are EIM initiatives and that they need to adhere to the best practices of EIM.

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Requirements gathering (data, meta data and process) are a vital part of successful project management and information management —well-known and publicly available research, such as the Standish Group’s Chaos Report, has shown this to be true. Even though there is growing recognition of the importance of requirements gathering, not enough has been done to explain the underlying need for a requirements gathering process or to develop methods to improve the process. The emergence of the function of data stewardship can bring attention to the need for clear business requirements. Stewards can guide their clients / users through a process that elicits their business requirements and facilitates good information management, but the steward must be well versed in both understanding the concepts of business requirement gathering AND the process that will best document them.

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Letter From The Editor

The July issue of EIMInsight Magazine features several articles on the value of your information.  Sid Adelman focuses on the importance of knowing the intended use of your data as a corporate asset.  Bruce Johnson focuses on determining and communicating expectations to preserve the integrity of your data and Anne Marie Smith highlights how expensive shortcuts can be with any project.  Additionally this month, David Marco introduces the first part of his series on Enterprise Information Management and the importance of each of the eight focus areas.

As always, I encourage you to visit our Library where you will have access to current and past columns.  To find an article written by one of our monthly columnists go to Meet The Experts, where we provide access to each columnist’s contributed EIMInsight articles.

I invite you to join EIMInstitute, 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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