To help our clients develop and sustain a Data Warehouse, Focus expertise extends Information Governance and Metadata Management, including:
- Business Terminology Solutions
- Data Lineage Solutions
- Data Stewardship Solutions
Business Terminology Solutions
A business term can hold many meanings depending on the context and the users experience, department or familiarity with the business.
A common language across departments or business units is a simple concept but one many businesses struggle to achieve. The perceived challenge - trying to collect business terms, having a system to store them in, assigning stewards and working through the review process to come to a consensus on each term - seems too great. Of course this perspective can be quickly overcome, when one takes full account of the quite serious issues all business & IT users encounter in miscommunications, misunderstandings and misjudgements.
The creation of a common set of business terms associated with the key business functions, operations and KPI’s can remove the ambiguity and ensure all parts of the business share information accurately and in context.
Focus are highly experienced in assisting enterprises to create a common language that can be agreed, defined, used and evolved collaboratively. For example, we assist clients to identify and consolidate business terms using the purpose-built, mature, metadata tool, IBM Business Glossary. Terms can be assigned to a “Data Steward” for revision to be accepted or deprecated and replaced with a more appropriate term. Terms can then be linked with other related terms, homonyms, synonyms, old (deprecated) terms, then utilised by business and technical users across the various information assets - BI Reports, Dashboards, database tables or ETL jobs.
This Solution can be a valuable first step in a Data Governance process that empowers the enterprise with reliable, trusted information.
Data Lineage Solutions
Do ever see people ask “how did you get that number, that’s not what I have?” It happens all too often.
Data Lineage provides the answer to this question: firstly in business terms, then also as a technical expression that identifies specific sources, calculations and rules.
Once information consumers have the Data Lineage available to them, any data quality issues can more readily be resolved, either at source or through agreement on the appropriate data calculations and rules.
There are other benefits also:
- Auditors can verify the authenticity of reports.
- Information engineers can quickly view the impact of a proposed change in data systems and more accurately estimate the work required, or the risks associated with changes.
Data Lineage for audit, compliance and impact analysis is an increasingly part of a trusted information platform.
Focus can deliver all these critical capabilities through the use of appropriate software tools. Firstly, the business information interfaces (such as Cognos 8 BI reports) must have the facility to inform the business user of data lineage. Secondly, information management tools such as the IBM MetaData WorkBench enables the collection of metadata from source systems and then manages the flow of metadata to the data warehouse and business information interfaces.
Focus consultants have the expertise to guide an efficient, integrated approach to creating and sustaining a trusted information assets. The IBM Information Management and Business Analytics software platform plays an important role to efficiently manage the flow of reliable data and metadata from source to information consumers.
Focus provide services and support to clients to set up a data stewardship capability and build the organisation awareness of the roles, responsibilities and benefits of stewardship. Focus introduce the objectives of stewardship through an information governance program that involves the Data Stewardship Charter, the data quality triage system and the mature architecture that lets data stewards fulfill their responsibilities.
Focus advocates the use of InfoSphere Business Glossary to link content author stewards to business concepts and terms. Stewards become the point of contact for business concepts and provide maintenance of business metadata – such as definitions, examples, links and usage – and support and advice on how to use data and information for reporting and analytics.
Focus advocates the use of Information Analyzer and InfoSphere Exception Manager to provide a data quality audit and data quality exception handling capability. Data Stewards use Information Analyzer ruleset to create and manage data quality audit rules that are executed against database data. The Exception Manager is used to store and report on rows of data that fail data quality audits and track the actions and outcomes of data quality issues.