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Must a Business Function Always Transform Data?

“Must a Business Function always create or transform data or information?” was question I was asked by a computing student last week.

The simple answer is very definiteYES“.  So, if you have a “Business Function” in your enterprise that does not create or transform information, then, whatever else it might be, it is definitely NOT a genuine Business Function.

This is one simple but essential quality check you must use when doing Information Flow Modeling.  If  “Information In” = “Information Out” then the activity is NOT a Business Function and you have an error.

A typical circumstance when this occurs is when an analyst models the activities of an organisation unit such as the post-room in a large organization.  Here  the analyst can mistakenly show the ‘information flow’ in as that information contained on printed reports going into the post room.  The ‘information flow’ out is shown as the  same as that going in, because, the analyst reasons, all of the documents going in always go out again. Wrong leaving the post-room on the same reports to various other locations. So “Information In” seems equal to “Information Out”. Wrong.

What the analyst has modelled here is the flow of documents , not of information.

What do you think the real information flow is?  Let me know.  Leave a comment below.

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