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Data Quality, MDM and the Art of Sex

In a recent discussion with some colleagues on Data Quality and Master Data Management we all expressed our bafflement as to why there was so much confusion out there surrounding theses relatively straightforward subjects and why, in the twenty first century, so many practitioners were using such archaic and flawed approaches.

One those present said that all of the confusion, myths and overall fumbling approach put him in mind of adolescent sexual exploration.

He said that reminded him of when he was a teenager. He had been brought up in France where his father was an artist and his mother a ballet dancer. Sensuality and sex were part of the everyday conversation with his parents, brothers and sisters, intermingled with that on schools, sport, holidays, music, etc.

At the age of sixteen he moved to England and thought he had been whisked back to the dark ages when he started term at his new school. His fellow male students talked about sex far more than he ever had in France, you could even say that they were obsessed with it! Yes, in spite of all of their talk, they knew nothing about the subject.

Worse still, they did not know that they did not know! On the contrary, they actually believed that they were real experts and that their myths and fumblings were the actions studs!

This, it seemed to him, was it the case with so many practitioners and commentators on MDM and Data Quality.

Their knowledge of the fundamentals is either non-existent or completely flawed. Did this make them crave learning and knowledge? Quite the reverse! They actually saw themselves as all-knowing and spread their ignorance liberally.

“What’s the answer?”, we asked.

A “Data Kama Sutra”, he said! “The only way to get the sexually misguided to learn the truth was to give them an exotic and erotic book – it must have pictures – that would reveal to them all of the sexual secrets of the universe.  We need the same for data!”

“Is there such a thing?”.

“Well, there is definitely the equivalent of a book with pictures that explains all of the mysteries and dispels all of the myths around MDM and Data Quality and that is the Logical Data Model – an essential for any data professional. Unfortunately, it’s unlikely to be seen as either exotic or erotic and, for that reason, will prpbably remain unread by our data ‘Studs’!”

Sad, but true. So, unless someone out there can eroticise the LDM, the world of data will have to put up with all of the data myths and fumblings of delusional ‘data studs’ for some time to come!

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2 Responses to “Data Quality, MDM and the Art of Sex”

  1. Richard Ordowich March 15, 2012 7:31 pm #

    This is the first time I have seen a suggestion that data could have a sexual connotation.

    Perhaps the data “model” should be portrayed as an object as models are portrayed in fashion. This way we could draw the attention of all constituents, business and technical, male and female alike to a common representation with various interpretations. To some it will depict a shape, to others a fashion and to others a manifestation of all their dreams. In the end however a model must precede any conversation about MDM or data quality.

    The model may help people; including practitioners in these domains realize that they don’t know what they don’t know. Semantic examination of data is a complement to the model to further “expose” other hidden details.

  2. Frank Harland March 15, 2012 3:56 pm #

    Hello John,

    Very interesting analogy is made here. As pleasing one’s sex partner in a way that he/she wants to come back for more for many years, is not an easy task to perform, so is the setting up and maintaining of logical data models that have correct and meaningfull relations.

    More than often the right sensitive spot is not exactly found with modelling of data and are the results just off the mark. This apart from other reasons that it is not read.

    This then leaves members of the business Masterdating their own set of fumbled data outbursts, also known as misinformation.

    Frank ;-)

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