Who owns the enterprise data? Part 2: Business

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open handWhile setting up meetings with business consumers developing a data warehouse environment, I was involved in some very interesting conversations. Following are some of the assumptions that were made during these conversations, as well as a few observations. To get a well-rounded view of this topic, read my earlier post that focuses on the IT perspective.

Assumptions

  1. Business consumers usually fund these types of projects.
  2. During this project, the business consumers were not engaged after the requirements were gathered.
    1. It is extremely important to make business consumers part of the team. Consider using Agile techniques with the business users.
  3. This project seemed to be using a waterfall methodology. It's hard to get away from waterfall during the initial steps of a project, but you can be more agile in later phases.
  4. IT wrote the testing scenarios without help from the business consumers.
    1. I love asking the business consumers to write testing scenarios from their perspective. Consider having testing scenarios on quality, content and volume.
    2. Include metadata usage – does the business consumer want to know how the data warehouse derived an attribute or the business definition? The answer is YES!
    3. Consider writing data quality testing scenarios. This is definitely a collaboration between the business user and IT. While scoping the project, you should establish an expectation of data quality as a guideline. Consider using a profiling tool, and show the results to the business users. This sets an expectation of what it will take to achieve good quality data.
  5. In this case, the project funding did not take into consideration ongoing processes to fix or enhance the data.
    1. This process needs to be established up front. It might even require escalating to upper management for fulfillment.

Observations

  1. Both business and IT are consumers, builders and maintainers of enterprise data assets. This means we are all responsible for the data.
  2. Collaboration between IT and business consumers is what makes a project successful.

Find out how to get the right people on your big data bus.

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About Author

Joyce Norris-Montanari

President of DBTech Solutions, Inc

Joyce Norris-Montanari, CBIP-CDMP, is president of DBTech Solutions, Inc. Joyce advises clients on all aspects of architectural integration, business intelligence and data management. Joyce advises clients about technology, including tools like ETL, profiling, database, quality and metadata. Joyce speaks frequently at data warehouse conferences and is a contributor to several trade publications. She co-authored Data Warehousing and E-Business (Wiley & Sons) with William H. Inmon and others. Joyce has managed and implemented data integrations, data warehouses and operational data stores in industries like education, pharmaceutical, restaurants, telecommunications, government, health care, financial, oil and gas, insurance, research and development and retail. She can be reached at jmontanari@earthlink.net.

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