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Data Business Process: Please abbreviate… “North Saint John’s Street”

by Jodee Hale-Schmid

November 2, 2010

Authored by John Ferraioli, SVP Data Lifecycle Management, Utopia, Inc.

It’s a funny thing. A data blogger made a bold statement that there are no data rules, rather he made the argument that data exists in an enterprise to support the “business functions”** of that enterprise. Data rules, then were not required – only business rules were relevant.

It may sound like we are contradicting ourselves when we say we do, in fact, subscribe to his thinking regarding business process (or function) execution. But in our opinion, data without rules is like a house without a solid foundation. And in this dimension, apparently we cannot agree.

As a data centric consultancy, part of our methodology for a data migration, enterprise data management service, or a data health assessment™ is to document, analyze and understand the business rules. We actually scorecard whether or not the business rules are enforced and governed. It’s one thing to have a rule, quite another to enforce it in a consistent manner…anyone with a dog or children will appreciate this. So absolutely we require and need business rules. But at the foundation, data rules support the structure and the very definition of how data standards are enforced.

The approach should be to understand and enforce the following canons of enterprise data management:

  • Data Architecture
  • Data Standards
  • Data Governance
  • Data Quality
  • Management of Change

So all in, I believe the statement is wrong or semantically challenged. Data rules outline and can be used to enforce standards and the related metrics allow a data governance organization to manage what they measure. Ultimately to scorecard themselves against acceptable thresholds or tolerances tied to data integrity. One man’s data rules are another’s data standards. Semantics aside, data rules are a necessity.



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