Friday, November 8, 2013

The Corporate Data Model – Holy Grail? Doomed to Fail? Hype? | LinkedIn Group: DAMA International

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My comment 

Without Corporate Data Model, any organization will end up in a siloed application landscape with all the known issues when trying to get some insight from 'cross-border' attempts such as analytics / business intelligence that are indispensable for optimal decisions as well as to differentiate from the competition.

The way Corporate Data Models (or Enterprise Data Models) have been tackled in the past, i.e. to cover the whole organization in one project, is doomed to fail: Such a project takes too long, binds too many resources, does not promise any value before finished, and, whenever ending, the resulting model will not reflect the business reality anymore.

Instead, I recommend to limit the 'Corporate Data Model' to the intersection of the business areas, i.e. in a first step to model only those objects that are shared by all parts of the organization including their major connectors to the different areas.

Interestingly, those objects include the Master Data Entities (Party, Product / Service, Location), connectors include the roles that these entities take (such as Customer, Supplier, Employee, Invoice Address, Delivery Address etc.). The adjacent business areas can be modeled later, as priorities of reorganizing them come up and related projects can economically be justified.

This approach 
  • Lays a solid foundation to the Enterprise Data Architecture,
  • Serves as the core piece for Master Data Management, Data Quality and Data Governance,
  • Creates the frame (primary dimensions) for a virtual or real data warehouse (as it gives answers regarding the Who (Party), Where (Location), What (Product/Service) and When (versioning / timestamps)).

My follow-up comment (Nov 10, 2013)

To foster cohesion and reuse of the model and its components (and, more importantly, nourish "common" sense among the heads of the business areas led by a committed CEO), the "Common" Corporate Data Model must include all major entities and connectors that define the business as a "Corporation". (Example from insurance industry: Though not being Master Entities, "Policy" and "Claim" are "Common" Corporate Entities.)

The "All-including" Corporate Data Model will evolve over time - by integrating business area model after business area model with the "Common" Corporate Data Model (whereas adjustments of the latter one ought to be the rare case, but cannot be avoided.)