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Why IT staff should care about how the business defines its terms

Why IT staff should care about how the business defines its terms

When someone in your business asks you to build a “solution” to meet their business need, it’s the start of a long process you both hope will be successful.

But we know that’s not always the case. And when it isn’t, they’ll blame you for blowing out time and/or budget and for the end product not being what they wanted.

You’ll likely be able to point out that you delivered what they asked for, but what they asked for wasn’t what they really wanted, and how were you meant to know that?

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The Cost of Flawed Intelligence

The Cost of Flawed Intelligence

We are all experiencing the rise of “big data” and “analytics” as key strategic initiatives in large organisations. I find myself often questioning whether these expensive investment decisions are based on facts about real business issues or more on opinions and analytical assumptions, often reinforced by technology vendors.

But without understanding an organisation’s operational and informational issues, there can be little chance of solid return from such investment. The decisions are being based on “flawed” intelligence – and we know where that can lead.

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Data, Information and ensuring Michelin quality in the dining room

Data, Information and ensuring Michelin quality in the dining room

Once an expertly prepared meal leaves the kitchen, the Michelin starred chef knows that the dish will be carried through the dining room in a specific way, presented to the table according to standards and protocols...

But in your business, who’s controlling the delivery, presentation, usage and accompaniments to your information artefacts? Can those who are consuming those business information artefacts assume everything has been controlled so that their experience of the information will be of a consistent quality?

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Data, Information and why Michelin starred chefs are control freaks in their kitchens

Data, Information and why Michelin starred chefs are control freaks in their kitchens

A Michelin starred chef runs a tight ship in his kitchen.
The kitchen team have a clear hierarchy. Each member has very specific responsibilities. They follow strict food preparation instructions, following exact recipes.
It is no less important for your organisation to govern its business information kitchen. The creation of business information resources (we like to call them artefacts) should be strongly governed, to guarantee the business and financial assurance of the company.

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Data, Information and why Michelin star chefs don’t buy supermarket produce

Data, Information and why Michelin star chefs don’t buy supermarket produce

You know that moment, the first mouthful of the dish, when the taste powerfully infuses through your taste buds and somehow takes over your entire focus – the meal is THAT good. The difference between that Michelin quality meal and our home cooked “good enough” dinner is not dissimilar to information produced from data stores within organisations. The same raw data is available to all but the results that come from using it can vary greatly...

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Aircraft Wing Failure (and Why Business Definition Standards are Essential to Information Governance)

Aircraft Wing Failure and Business Definition Standards Essential to Information Governance

In the mid 80s I worked for an aircraft manufacturer. My job there involved assigning identification numbers to raw materials – everything from sheet metal to bags of rivets and fasteners to avionics – and tracking their use against each manufactured component of the aircraft. Similar to data lineage, this requirement covers the eventuality of a component failure in an operational aircraft, allowing traceability back to the faulty component batch and forward to other aircraft using components from the same batch. But my story here is about the aircraft design, in particular, wing design...

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DMZ, Wooden Stairs and Data Modelling

Wooden Stairs and Data Modelling

For several years, I’ve been concerned with a trend in my clients’ DW and BI groups to leave the data modelling (design) to the ETL developers (builders). My concerns here aren’t ones of safety, like the stairs, but of (a) the future of data modelling...

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Cookies or Biscuits? The Power of a Common Business Language

Common Business Language

With today’s data explosion, we are drowning in data but starving for information. The onslaught of cheap processing power and data storage has enabled a significant increase in the data stored within an organisation. Unfortunately, in many cases that data cannot provide business intelligence (or information) because there is no clear translation from the data to our information needs or vice versa.

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