Sadly, this area is often overlooked and is one of the key contributors to data quality issues in many organisations.
Perhaps a reason for this, is that there is very little practical guidance on creating and managing definitions. The book – ‘Definitions in information management’* – by Malcolm Chisholm addresses this.
I first ‘scan read’ this book on my commute to work just under a year ago. I have recently been working on an enterprise conceptual model – creating/reviewing definitions – and have taken this opportunity to take a more detailed look at this book.
It follows the high standards set by Malcolm Chisholm in his previous books such as ‘Managing Reference Data in Enterprise Databases’ *
It contains 235 pages and is split into 17 chapters.
Key chapters include:
- Justifying definition management.
- Theory and history of definitions.
- Definition types.
- Producing high quality definitions.
- Governance and management of definitions.
The last two chapters have proved particularly invaluable with my current work, as they provide a wealth of practical tips on creating and maintaining definitions.
All in all, a good book and one that I would recommend to anyone working in the data management space.
I will leave you with a quote from the book that particularly resonated with me – written by Ron Ross.
“Pay a little now, or pay a whole lot over time….Time and time again we find really big problems boiling down simply to what things really mean.”
* See Books and references for links to these books.