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Archive | 2010

Data Quality – One Version of the Truth?

The concept of “one version of the truth” is possibly the most widely discussed (and disputed) topics in Data Quality. Some say that it can never exist, others, that it must always exist or there is no quality. There is one version of the truth but, perhaps, not the truth as you know it! Know the Unique Identifier (UID) and the truth becomes blindingly obvious!

Click on “Read More” to see how.

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What does ‘Capability’ Mean? Nothing!!

“Capability” is a term that is used all over the place in business and on the web, where people (including me!) write and expound on it at length. So what? Well, it actually means that people are talking and writing an awful lot about a term that has no meaning!!!

Click on “Read More” to find out why…..

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There Are No Such Things as Data Rules!

This may come as a surprise to many involved in Data Quality but, wait for it, there are no such things as data rules! By looking at data you can never deduce or define a rule that dictates that one entity should be related to another or that a value of an attribute of an entity has to be, in a certain format and have limits to its value. So what does dictate data content, structure, format and constraints?
Click on “Read More” and find out why….

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There's No Such Thing as a Customer!

“Customer” is one of the Data Enitities that lies at the heart of most MDM practices in enterprises around the world and it is not in fact a Data Entity at all! This situation has arisen because far too much “data quality” work is done without the use of a properly structured Logical Data Model. This work then serves to perpetuate rather than remove fragmented data structures.

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Business Modelling Architecture

All good analysis and modelling is achieved by starting in the right place, and that place is with the core activities of the enterprise – the Business Functions. If you have not started in the right place, then you need to know how to get back there. The Hierarchy of Models shown in the diagram in this post will enable you to do this.
If you are working on any model and have not built the preceding model(s) then you are not going to achieve a Quality outcome.  For example, if you are modelling Processes and have not yet built your Function Model, then you are in trouble.  This failure to first model Functions is one of the main reasons why most BPM projects fail to deliver.

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Procedure Modelling eBook

I am just starting to write Procedure Modelling, the fifth book in the series for the Integrated Modelling Method. The purpose of this book is to define Procedure Modelling and how it differs from Process Modelling. To define in detail the elements of a procedure, i.e. triggers and outcomes, controls, method, knowledge, skills, resources and evidence. To show step-by-step how to do Procedure Modelling. I would love your input. Have a look at the full post and tell me what you think.

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Is Capability a Function?

In response to a recent post I got a comment from a reader suggesting that what I called a Function was a Capability. In this post I explain how I align Capability with the standard English meaning of the word, i.e. what an enterprise is capable of doing. Capability actually couples a Function with elements that increase its depth, scope, productivity, etc. These elements could include knowledge, technology, product portfolio, geography, and many others.

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Functionality vs Functon

I was recently asked by Jan van Bon from the Netherlands to define “the difference between a Function and Functonality”. My reply was, “A Business Function (or Function) is a core activity of an enterprise. It is something that the enterprise must do in order to meet its objectives and continue in existence. ‘Functionality’ is a general English phrase that is generally used when referring to a computerised system in defining what Business Functions the system fully or partly supports.”

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Has Data Quality Lost the Plot?

Have some Data Quality practitioners lost the plot? When recently reading an article by a DQ practitioner I was tempted to think so. “You have amassed all of this master data and you must now make sure that you totally organise your whole business around feeding and maintaining it.” It’s a bit like all of the bees in a hive being expected to be totally dedicated to feeding and protecting the queen bee; to be an unquestioning and dedicated collective. Data is everything! Data must be served! Well, and this may shock some people, data is not everything!

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Removing Duplicate Functions

An essential step in building an effective function hierarchy is removing common (duplicate) functions. This turns a function hierarchy into the Function Catalogue – a unique catalogue of all of the core activities of the enterprise. Click on “Read More” to see a video on how to do this..

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