Thursday, September 11, 2008

Mission statements for an integrated EDW

Detailed textual descriptions of entities such as customers, products, locations and calendars to be applied uniformly across subject areas, using standardized data values. This is a fundamental tenet of MDM.

Aggregated groupings such as types, categories, flavors, colors and zones defined within entities to have the same interpretations across subject areas. This can be viewed as a higher-level requirement on the textual descriptions.

That constraints posed by business intelligence (BI) applications, which attempt to harvest the value of consistent text descriptions and groupings, be applied with identical application logic across subject areas. For instance, constraining on a product category should always be driven from a field named Category found in the Product dimension.

That numeric facts are represented consistently across subject areas so that it makes sense to combine them in computations and compare them to each other, perhaps with ratios or differences. For example, if Revenue is a numeric fact reported from multiple subject areas, then the definitions of each of these revenue instances must be the same.

That international differences in languages, location descriptions, time zones, currencies and business rules be resolved to allow all of the previous consistency requirements to be achieved.

That auditing, compliance, authentication and authorization functions be applied in the same way across subject areas.

Coordination with industry standards for data content, data exchange and reporting, where those standards impact the enterprise. Typical standards include ACORD (insurance), MISMO (mortgages), SWIFT and NACHA (financial services), HIPAA and HL7 (health care), RosettaNet (manufacturing) and EDI (procurement).

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