Russell Ackoff and Systems Thinking


Good post with YouTube links to Russell Ackoff speaking.


Troux and Enterprise Information Management


Over the last 3 years I have been using the EA tool Troux .

My use of this tool has mainly been focused on ‘Business Architecture’ related activities such as creating a business capability model/project investment analysis and ‘Enterprise Information Management (EIM)’.

This is the first in a series of blogs that will focus on my experience in the latter – looking at areas including:

  • Business Information Modelling
  • Managing information assets
  • Creation of an enterprise business glossary
  • BI strategy and ‘road mapping’
  • Data governance and stewardship
  • And most importantly of all, ensuring EIM aligns with the strategies, goal and objectives of the enterprise.

I intend to show how Troux can assist in the areas above and provide practical ‘tips and tricks’ based on my experiences.

Business Intelligence, Big Data and Analytics


I’ve just attended a two day seminar – Business Intelligence, Big Data and Analytics given by Rick F. van der Lans.

He combines business awareness with a deep technical background – whilst presenting in a relaxed, approachable manner.

Perhaps confirmation bias on my part but his views on the need for business agility leading to the technical requirement for data visualisation really resonated with me.

If you get the chance I would definitely recommend attending any event where he is presenting or reading the articles on his website.

Database debunkings – up and running again


It’s great to see this up and running again after a number of years being ‘on hold’.

The purpose of Database Debunkings is to:

“To correct misconceptions about and educate on the practical implications of data fundamentals–concepts, principles and methods–that receive little, incorrect, or no coverage. And to make foundation knowledge accessible to the thinking database professional and user, regardless of the DBMS used”

Definitely worth a regular visit.

Defining the financial industry


As discussed in a previous post – What do you mean? – having a common set of key business terms and definitions is so beneficial to an enterprise and is at the core of good data management.

So it is good to see people in the financial industry discussing the importance of having a common language both within an individual organisation and across a sector. Andy Haldane – Bank of England’s executive director for financial stability – told the Securities Industry and Financial Market Association in New York yesterday that there is often no common way of calculating risks and liabilities. A few quotes from the article:

“the world’s banks should develop a common language, like the barcodes used in international trade, so that financial risks can be mapped and understood”

“Most financial firms have competing in-house languages, with information systems siloed by business line. Across firms, it is even less likely that information systems have a common mother tongue,”

“Without a common language, Haldane said, trying to map the complex networks between different financial firms and their clients and customers is a ‘high-dimension puzzle’, which hampered the clean-up after the collapse of Lehman Brothers.”

So not having a common set of definitions has hampered the clean-up and makes it more difficult to calculate risks/liabilities. Therefore, can it also be argued that not having this might be one of the root causes of the current financial crisis – or at least made it more difficult to identify/prevent?

One of the excuses often put forward for not having appropriate data management processes is centred around cost. But, following on from this speech, perhaps organisations need to start asking – “can we afford not to do this”.

What is a conceptual, logical and physical model?


David Hay has written an excellent short presentation that describes the differences between these and places them within the context of the Zachman Framework.

He makes a greate point – how can we expect others to think about language/definitions when those in the data management community often use these terms in such an inconsistent fashion.

The presentation can be seen in the following – Introduction to Data Modeling

David mentioned this presentation in the following – LinkedIn discussion

Open data model


The Open Data Model site was launched recently.

It’s aim is to:

“bring together data modelers and subject matter experts both from IT and business. The purpose is to reach consensus on the best way to represent any given set of facts, by ensuring those facts are truly understood.”

Effectively to build up a set of conceptual models for different domains which can then be used as starting points in modelling efforts.

(As far as I am aware) It has only been running for a few weeks and has already built up some really useful resources.

Definitely worth taking a look at.

Note you have to register to access most parts of the site.