Does your data give you one version of the truth?

03. 12. 19 John Chapman

Does your data give you one version of the truth?

Today, we celebrate the first glorious anniversary of the Information Purification Directives. We have created, for the first time in all history, a garden of pure ideology—where each worker may bloom, secure from the pests purveying contradictory truths

Apple Mackintosh advert, 1984

Data silos and sources

There are millions of transaction lines out there in silo databases and proprietary data sources. Most businesses will have more than one source of data, plenty will have many more than that. Data is readily available, but often unused; Social media is providing structured and unstructured information whose content is invaluable for those in marketing and business development. In places, data will be of dubious quality. Combine this with a lack of a common nomenclature and it remains inaccessible or difficult to make sense of.

What is the truth?

Nevertheless individuals and groups will perform their own analysis, using the same raw data but often getting different answers to the same question. There is no one version of the truth. Yet what is the truth? It is more than a philosophical question. Information is needed to perform management analysis. From this analysis, effective decisions can be taken.

The purity of information

Not just from an ideological perspective but the reality of business is that we need the purity of a single source of information. One that collates structured and unstructured data into an accessible location; a data lake. From this information curated into a data warehouse and curated data zones. It is from these the Advanced Analytics, Data Exploration and Corporate Reporting can take place to name but a few.

What do we mean by…?

In addition there needs to be agreement on what we mean by particular terms. For example

  • Is there agreement on what is meant by a customer?
  • How is project profitability calculated?
  • What are the geographical regions that will be used?

At the start of the Business Intelligence Project we will need an Information Purification Directive. One that ensures the project is mandated to deliver a single version of the truth.The truth being a combination of a purity of the single source of information, and agreement on the definitions used.

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John Chapman

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John Chapman