Data Category Spheres of Influence

I recently read the article “What is Master Data Management?” by Guy Holmes in the recent (Q2, 2015) PPDM Foundations Journal. There was one statement he made that thought-provokingly captured the definition of master data: “The key difference [from transactional data] is that master data elements tend to repeat in other data sets, and therefore consistency is key to quality”.

Differentiating transactional data from master data is a very common concept within the data management community. I also like to take it one step further and differentiate between master data and reference data, the latter being something that might “repeat” outside of an organisation, and therefore being a candidate for industry/international standardisation.

Continuing Guy’s line of reasoning: if (1) master data is shared across systems within an organization, and (2) reference data is shared across systems within an industry; then what category of data might be shared across systems but also across industries? Metadata?

I sketched a diagram around this thought, which indicates the “sphere of influence” of that data category – pragmatically, its applicability to be used/shared by systems.

data-category-spheres-of-influence

Intro to Data Modelling

When I was working for the Information and Data Management practice at SMS Management & Technology a few years back, I was asked to run a workshop for the Business Analysis Focus Group on data modelling. I put together an introductory presentation on data modelling targeted towards business analysts, which was a refresher on terminology and approaches. At the end of the presentation, I paired up everyone in the audience for two data modelling exercises: one person would act as a client while the other would act as a data analyst, eliciting data requirements and identifying a conceptual/logical data model. There were two scenarios so each person had an opportunity at the data analyst role, and both scenarios were based on real world projects I had previously worked on.

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