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Applying Data Investigation to Different Business Problems

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As one of the Foundation Capabilities for Information Development, Data Investigation can be a valuable set in the early phases of many different types of projects. In all cases, Data Investigation provides a method for the quantitative definition of output that is closely linked to measurable activities. There are a number of situations where following a Data Investigation process is very important:

  • The applicable systems are legacy systems that have either undergone a number of changes or are poorly documented.
  • There has been a significant loss of knowledge about the systems and/or they are poorly documented.
  • The data in the system will be exposed to a new audience, e.g. customer information will be put out onto the web or now sent to customers in their bill.
  • The system has changed roles and is being used for a more critical function where previously non-important data may take on different role.
  • There has been little control or standards in how information has been entered into the system.
  • The scenarios below provide a further explanation of how the Data Investigation process should be applied for common types of business problems.

Much as prototyping is an important part of “getting into the problems” when developing software, Data Investigation provides a way of kick-starting aspects of a data management project to bring out risk areas and get a better understanding of the work that needs to be done.

Listed below are some typical examples of Data Investigation being applied in the early stages of different projects. These projects would be conducted using the Overall Implementation Guide, the descriptions below highlight some of the key aspects of Data Investigation for driving the approach.


=To help define a strategy for Information Management

Data Investigation can be used as an early step in helping to define a strategic information management programme. Business vision, priorities and issues are gathered through interviews; tools-based assessments are used to verify comments from interviews and to better understand limitations on moving forward against business priorities. Together, the results can be used to build a strategic implementation plan that can be tied to an ROI-driven business case.

Business Scenario: Improve Data Quality

Information Management Strategy Driven by Data Investigation

An organisation undergoes an information assessment to build a case for an information strategy that will provide an ROI-driven data quality programme.

The organisation knows they have data quality issues, but doesn’t know the magnitude of their impact on the business or if is worth the effort to fix them. Data Investigation can be used as a means for identifying problems and recommending a programme to fix these issues. The tools-based approach provides an assessment of data quality issues; these tools are then used to resolve issues in either the operational systems or a target environment diet pills. The interviewing-based approach helps define a prioritisation process that derives from the objectives of the business.

Business Scenario: Implement an Enterprise Data Warehouse

As a Foundation Activity, Data Investigation should be one of first steps in the analysis phase of a Data Warehouse. Data Investigation provides a deep understanding of the data issues through tools-based analysis. It allows for the quantitative design of a solution: it is used to directly formulate requirements around the capabilities the system can provide, which systems should be used for sourcing and for analysis to be more tightly linked to a set of transformation rules into the target system.

Business Scenario: Migrate from a Legacy System to a New Application

Migration projects often discover data issues late in the project, as the projects have been lead by defining application functionality. This is the most expensive and worst time to discover problems with the data. It is late in the process and there is little time to do the analysis and fix the problem - more times than not this has caused project delays. By focusing on Data Investigation to start the project, many of the issues are worked through prior to further data movement. This saves the time and money associated with moving data before it is fixed and helps provide more time for fixing some of the most difficult problems. Data Mapping is conducted adipex in a metadata tool at the completion of Data Investigation, providing a linkage between analysis and implementation.

Business Scenario: As part of a large-scale IT Transformation programme

A larger programme-wide system decommissioning and replacement exercise is typically referred to as “IT Transformation”. Large-scale consolidation and de-commissioning work is complicated and takes quite a bit of work -- years (hopefully getting some early wins). As an endeavour in a typically very high-cost exercise, Transformation exercises typically carry a high penalty for failure. Conducting Data Investigation early in a Transformation programme provides 3 key benefits:

  • Early identification of Data Quality issues
By identifying data quality issues early, some of the most difficult issues are brought to the forefront from the start. As many of the activities in a large-scale Transformation project are typically around Data Migration and Consolidation, the early discovery issues provides a means for risk mitigation.
  • Building the metadata inventory for the future-state and transition architecture
Next-generation solutions will be defined against a Technology-Backplane of reusable services and information management capabilities. In transitioning to this new environment, a very large percentage of resources and time go into data conversion and data migration activities across an integration programme. Typically this data is mapped directly from the existing systems to the target systems and then the data is moved from one application environment to the other. In systems decommissioning, the data mapping and all the metadata associated with it are usually lost since the mapping from old systems to the new ones are perceived as not being of value (as the old system will eventually be decommissioned). Data Investigation forms the basis forms the basis for having attribute definitions and mapping as reusable metadata assets that can be used in all development activities going forward. The mapping is done within the Technology Backplane to a common set of data elements; both new and old systems are mapped to the common elements. Using this approach enables an enterprise view of information during the process, that helps deliver the next step.
  • Delivering early functionality whilst decommissioning the existing reporting environment
Foundation Activities for a Transformation programme will take a long-time; it is critical that the business community feels they get something out of this step beyond infrastructure (they feel that IT should have been more efficient all along). Otherwise, they can lose interest in the consolidation project after a few months and funding is hard to come by. It has been observed that most enterprises understood de-commissioning and consolidation value but after six or seven months want new functionality. In order to do this they need to pull the people that can do decommissioning and consolidation off and put them on new capabilities. Thus, consolidation falls by the wayside.

Therefore a transformation approach must balance new capabilities with Transformation and De-Commissioning. Thus, the Technology Backplane that is formed by an organisation’s capabilities around infrastructure and data must be flexible and extensible enough to accommodate new capabilities development concurrent with decommission and convergence activities. This involves standards and documentation in terms of metadata from the start, using Data Investigation to build these standards.

Delivery of an information platform at this time also addresses another major challenge in decommissioning – removal of the “stealth layer” (the disparate, often poorly documented and silo reporting environments that that receive feeds from the legacy system). The discovery of data and its metadata is the first step to ensuring that the stealth layer is address during transition and not replicated in the new environment.

The bottom line is that IT transformation, up till now, has too often either failed from issues with Data Quality or through failure to hold the attention and support of the business (in terms of money and people) long enough to complete the tasks without new functional capabilities being delivered. By forming a set of foundation activities based around Data Investigation, issues can be understood early, high-risk areas can be more easily mitigated and new functionality (provided by a new reporting environment) can be more quickly delivered back to the business.

The Investigative Solution

The following would be key steps required as part of the methodology:

  • Information Maturity QuickScan (Assess Current & Desired Capabilities): We use an objective information assessment model to compare an enterprise’ current state to the desired level of information maturity. The results are used to guide improvement activities.
  • Conduct Tools-based Assessment: We utilize industry-leading data profiling and cleansing tools to perform a detailed analysis of data quality issues in the organisation. Our industry experts complement the profiling results with root cause analysis.
  • Develop the Information Maturity (IM) Blueprint: We create an overall approach contains the sequence of activities that the organisation should execute in order to reach its target information maturity level.
  • Develop Business Case: The Blueprint includes a business case that projects the return that the client can expect through data quality investments.
  • Create Action Plan: The Roadmap is focused on addressing the root cause of the issues and is inclusive of strategy, people, process, and technology activities.

In this case we are changing some of the steps of the MIKE2 Methodology. Whereas the tools-based assessment is normally conducted in Phase 3 (after the Blueprint), this “bottom-up” approach is often effective as a means to drive the strategy. comparer forfait rio sosh portabilité calcul IMC rio orange

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