Oops! The input is malformed! You Know It’s Good When You Like It Again by Frank Dravis - BeyeNETWORK UK

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You Know It’s Good When You Like It Again A Functional Model for Data Management

Originally published 13 August 2009

You know a good thing when you come back to it and find it’s still as appealing as your first try. Food is a good example: I’m thinking about spaghetti sauce. My wife loves experimenting with different recipes, but my kids and I can always tell when mom has dusted off her tried-and-true – the one recipe we brag about – because it stands out from all the imposters she’s tried to foist upon us. Wine is another example. You get that one bottle that is absolutely perfect, and then the store runs out of it. Months later, when you find it again, you know it was good when that next glass matches your memory.

Advice follows the same validation. I wrote a white paper in February, and in going through the content recently, I was gratified that I still agreed with everything it said. You know how it is: Someone will quote you and you’ll respond with, “I said that?” Sometimes it’s good, and sometimes it’s not so good. I’ve recently had the opportunity to have a critical look at my white paper – A Functional Model for Data Management – against the project plan I’m developing for a large, high-end retailer for their new customer data warehouse (CDW). The CDW is all about delivering “one view” of the customer to its marketing organization. Much of the project is classic data warehousing with business intelligence (BI) and data integration best practices added in. We’re using a recognized ETL solution to extract, transform and load the data into the CDW. We then use the same ETL application to feed the CDW data to downstream applications.

At the highest level, the paper talks about how executive sponsorship feeds into data governance, which then flows into data management:


What is particularly gratifying is that in the CDW project, the statement of work (SOW) actually contained a clause for us to document any deficiencies in the data governance and data management processes. And I didn’t put it there. It was the client’s doing. They understood the importance of those functions.

On the back end, the paper delves into project and program management. Hello, I’m feeling a serious case of déjà vu here. What I wrote in the paper, I am doing for the client – even though writing the paper and program managing the CDW project are unrelated events. For instance, note this statement from the paper:

Design and implementation of data management processes that span more than one corporate function are coordinated by program management, as are the establishment and monitoring of project metrics.

We could have taken that sentence and plunked it right into the program management charter for the CDW project.

But what is the most satisfying is that the Data Management Functional Model itself was represented by the phases and tasks in the CDW project plan, and in the client organization that surrounds the activity. We followed the data requirements collection and validation process. We mapped our way through data architecture, and now we are outlining the data administration deficiencies. The complete functional model is shown below.


Coincidently, the client has asked us to pursue the creation of a phased-in project plan where we walk through a matrix of data sources (rows) and applications (columns) – identifying high, medium, and low priority intersections (cells) – to determine what applications and data sources should be implemented early for near-term return on investment. This incremental delivery approach comes right out of the white paper. My only lament is the client was the first to suggest the approach. They beat us to the punch on our own recommendation.

So just like my wife’s best spaghetti sauce, my latest publication – A Functional Model for Data Management – has been validated by experience. Recent experience. Give it a taste and see what you think. Download the white paper here.

SOURCE: You Know It’s Good When You Like It Again



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