Archive for June, 2008


Building a Data Governance Organization – 30. June, 2008

I link today to a post from Dan Power of Hub Solution Designs:

Building a Data Governance Organization

Dan has it right – you should look at Governance as the foundation of an MDM initiative, and it’s a program (multi-year) instead of a project (shorter term). I hadn’t heard of his “rule of thumb” on the number of data stewards required in an organization – hopefully he’ll let me use that 😀

I’d like to expand a little on point 1 of his argument –

Several times, I’ve seen data governance teams and MDM initiatives that never thought beyond their first year’s funding, and who were surprised when funding for Year 2 and beyond wasn’t forthcoming.

The successful Data Governance program implementer will realize that a Governance initiative doesn’t rate highly at all on the scale of initiatives that resonate with business executives because there is very little evidence of tangible benefit in the short term. However, we practitioners know that a well-implemented Governance program is necessary for the long-term health of the organization.

That’s why I like to think of these programs in terms of a physical fitness regimen – it’s not a lot of fun, but you need to do it to facilitate the rest of your life. Therefore, we need to find ways to make the exercise (pardon the pun) more fun and necessary, much the same way that trainers find innovative ways to make our fitness programs seem less like work.

Now, back on the treadmill!

One More Step Down the Slippery Slope – 9. June, 2008

Your Papers Please: TSA outlaws ID-less flight

I’ve long maintained that the kabuki-theater aspect of airport security is more about psychology and liability avoidance than any real deterrence. I also think that we’re just biding our time until we have ID gathering facilities such as retinal scanning, as displayed in the movie Minority Report.

Minority Report scanner

Posted in General

This Makes Me Misty – 5. June, 2008

Thinkbase: Mapping the World’s Brain

I’ve really liked the “star” interface since I saw it several years ago as developed by Inxight. (Yes, I’m sorry they got swallowed by a bigger fish, but there you are.) I expect to see quite a few more applications that take advantage of it in the near future, and the inclusion of a semantic description between objects in this application just shows the promise that this interface has for changing the way we think about data.

Seriously, I really get excited when I see this kind of thing – we are truly living in amazing times…

Posted in Semantics

Spreadmarts and Ideology – 2. June, 2008

I read this article with great interest this morning:

Spreadmarts and the Ideology of BI

I appreciate perspectives that change my way of thinking, and this article does that in spades. Business Intelligence truly can be viewed as an ideology, and a fairly rigid one at that. Practitioners such as myself can be caught up in the mantra of “centralized storage for maximum efficiency” and craft all of our solutions in those terms.

I think that Western people in general tend to look at things in binary terms – good/evil, win/loss, etc. – and I think that this article does that as well. I don’t agree that centralized BI is bad, but I do agree that it must be more flexible in responding to business needs and behaviors. I submit that the most effective way of dealing with these issues is to talk in terms of risk generated for the organization. Deviation from the “standard” BI architecture makes risks larger, and that additional risk should be quantified and communicated to the business so that they can make intelligent decisions on the level of risk they are willing to carry. This way, the business users will know how items such as spreadmarts add to their risk profiles and decide on the appropriate course of action with full information.

I have more to say on the risk topic…