The Executive Guide To Corporate Data
Business intelligence capability is becoming a key competitive
driver in most major corporations. A key requirement in any business
intelligence program is for the business, rather than IT, to accept
ownership of corporate data.
This sends shivers down the spines of most corporate executives,
already overloaded with information and decisions.
However, in a previous article “Using Business Intelligence
To Power Jump Your Corporate Performance” we highlighted business
ownership of corporate data as one of the three key requisites of
a successful BI program.
This executive guide to corporate data will outline the key data
elements that need to be understood by executives before the enterprise
embarks on implementing a BI program.
Corporate Data is defined in terms of:
- Master Data
- Meta Data
Master data defines how the business operates – the business
objects, definitions, classifications, and terminology that describe
business information as well as the context for recording transaction
data. Master data reference information is key to the operation
Reference information includes data about customers, products,
employees, materials, suppliers, etc. and is mostly non-transactional.
Master data may however support transactional processes and operations.
Master data forms the foundation of analytics and reporting and
for this purpose, it is stored in a data warehouse or data marts,
and is managed using the discipline of Master Data Management [MDM].
Metadata is essentially data about data that is used to identify
data in the data warehouse, making it discoverable based on queries
that business managers enter into the BI application. In this way,
Metadata is used to facilitate the understanding, use and management
of data. Types of Metadata include the name of the file, the file
type, the data the data was created, the description of an image,
scene descriptions within a video,
Metadata is generally structured into a hierarchy - called a schema
and is stored in a metadata registry, which can be accessed by multiple
Difference Between Data And Metadata
It is often difficult to distinguish between raw data and metadata
because something can be data and metadata at the same time - the
headline of an article is both its title (metadata) and part of
its text (data).
Why The Business Owns Data
It is important that the business define what it considers master
data, and with the guidance of IT, agree on how to define that master
data, using meta data. If this is not agreed, and a formal schema
and registry implemented, there will be no way of connecting data
in different systems or at different locations together in a meaningful
manner. And data only has meaning to the business users. To IT,
data is merely something that must be stored, kept secure and made
easily available, only to permitted users.
Back To Top