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Arctec Views

 February 24, 2004

 

In this issue:

     * Enterprise Data Architecture, Part III

     * Enterprise Architecture News

     * Reader Views

     * Arctec Group News:

      Arctec Group CTO Gunnar Peterson is featured

      speaker at BlackHat Windows Security Conference

 

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 Arctec Group is an architectural services company focused on Enterprise Architecture issues. With this newsletter, we aim to serve our clients, partners, and colleagues by providing our view on current issues and best practices in Enterprise Architecture as well as aggregating interesting news from around the globe. We hope you find the newsletter useful and enlightening. We would like to hear your thoughts on current affairs and ideas to improve this offering. Subscribe and unsubscribe information is at the bottom of this email. Previous issues are available at www.arctecgroup.net/views.htm

 

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Enterprise Data Architecture: The afterthought, Part III

 

 Welcome back for the third installment on Enterprise Data Architecture: The afterthought. The third installment of this series will look at the Information Management and Delivery aspects of Enterprise Data Architecture.

 

- Information Management Techniques

 

 o Match Data Quality with Decision Need – Data quality is an important consideration when capturing information for information analysis. In general you should always strive to have the highest data quality possible. Sounds like common sense to me. However, if the costs to improve specific data quality do not materially, as defined by the business, impact the ability to make decisions off of the information, then it may not warrant the investment in improved quality.

 

 o Common Platforms for Widely Used Data – An operational data store is a term that has been used for many purposes. In general it is a place to capture data of operational importance in a single place for operational analysis or further distribution of data. It is important when architecting a solution where a common platform captures information that has many consumers that a common platform be used to assist in the movement and management of this data. One thing to be careful of is to ensure that consumers receive the information in a state of common value, meaning in a standard conformed semantic state, so that data can continue to be used as a uniting mechanism and not a dividing mechanism.

 

 o Separate Operational vs Analytical Concerns –Always ensure that the management of data takes into account different consumer concerns as it relates to timeliness, accuracy, and value of information. Operational reporting has specific detailed requirements that are different than time variant analysis. Make sure you know your consumers and their needs before classifying the data and architecting a solution.

 

 o Access Control – Security is obviously a large concern in dealing with an organizations data. There is a natural conflict between information privacy and the desire to provide all data, anytime, anywhere, given he significant material risk with exposing information to the wrong people. In general, from a data management and movement standpoint, you should be overly cautious and lean towards over- securing data. This needs to be considered in conjunction with some of the other techniques mentioned in this article.

 

 o Internationalization – Don’t do it unless you know you need it. A federated approach to internationalization can be much more efficient and less costly, as well as centralize decision making around data integration points as needed. I have seen a number of organizations attempt to internationalize solutions without an immediate need. System implementation can be exponentially impacted by including this potential requirement, significantly increasing cost and/or timeline required to deliver base requirements.. In addition, be wary of any vendor that attempts to sell you the silver bullet solution for internationalization. I have seen a number of vendor promises disappear in the implementation minutia around projects with these requirements. It is worth spending some extra analysis, design, and architecture time to validate the need and approach. Tread lightly!

 

- Information Delivery Techniques

 

o Decision Driven and Actionable Information Delivery – Information delivery should be decision driven, meaning it should support business decisions that can be made to improve performance and meet strategic objectives. This obviously includes information that is actionable, that can allow a business resource to positively correct the course by using this information. Data that does not provide decision driven actionable information (but may look nice) should be highly scrutinized for value.

 

 o Conformed Data and Centralized Fact Definitions – Another one of the major stumbling blocks is the integration of information across divisions, business units, etc. It is important from a data delivery standpoint that all business resources see the same logical representation of data. When organizations allow the dilution of a conformed logical representation of data, specifically context, it can cost the organization in terms of dollars/resource hours to settle these differences. In addition, it is important that fact definitions are centrally managed and widely communicated to make sure there is no confusion when reporting on measures for organizational performance. Decisions from information are dependent on the quality, accuracy, and understanding of the data you are examining. When measures are derived from multiple raw facts or combinations of facts, it is particularly important that the value of the measure be understood and not misinterpreted.

 

o Any Data, Anytime, Anywhere, Self Serve Strategy – Finally, the utopia is to have any resource look at any piece of data (that they are authorized to see) anytime they want and anywhere they are, in an intuitive self-serve model. Similar to matching product supply to product demand, providing a platform that allows resources to match up decision demand with information supply will increase revenue/profitability while at the same time reducing operational costs. When it comes to information delivery, this indeed is the place you want to be.

 

 I hope these techniques help you and your organization better manage, understand, and deliver decision support information to improve performance.

 

 - Charles Belisle

 Enterprise Architect

 Arctec Group

 

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Enterprise Architecture News

 

 Microsoft Windows Sourced Code Leaked

 An overlooked part of the open versus closed source debate is that when closed source code is leaked, the closed source community has the worst of both worlds: available code without a managed feedback loop.

http://nytimes.com/aponline/technology/AP-Microsoft-Source-Code.html

 

 Grady Booch: Dealing with Complexity in Software

 The viewpoints of IBM's designated "free radical"

http://www.infoworld.com/article/04/02/02/HNboochint_1.html

 

The Emperor has too much UML?

 Dave Thomas on the confusing conflagration of the UML space

http://www.jot.fm/issues/issue_2003_01/column1

 

Edward Tufte Speaking Tour

 Seminal author/researcher Edward Tufte goes on a speaking tour including Raleigh and Minneapolis. These sessions are not to be missed.

http://www.edwardtufte.com/tufte/courses

 

 From the Not a Moment Too Soon Dept.

 "Nigerian" Email Scammers Caught

http://www.wired.com/news/ebiz/0,1272,62124,00.html

 

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Have your say

 Agree? Disagree? Insufficient data to judge? Email us atviews@arctecgroup.net, we want to hear from you. We will publish your name or anonymize your response as requested.

 

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Arctec Group News

 Arctec Group CTO Gunnar Peterson was a featured speaker at the Blackhat Windows enterprise security conference on January 30th. The presentation covered "Security in the Software Development Lifecycle".The session drilled down on specific design, process, and organizational elements and activities to understand and improve security within the enterprise. Slides are available for download at:

http://www.arctecgroup.net/articles.htm

 

 Dan Geer and Richard Thieme gave inspiring keynotes. Former @Stake CTO Dan Geer gave an illuminating talk on predictive analysis of security issues. Richard Thieme (www.thiemeworks.com) discussed the social and industry contexts of Windows security.

 

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 Arctec Group: Strategic Technology Blueprints www.arctecgroup.net

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