Tuesday, December 9, 2008

BI: Is One Version of the Truth Still Out There?

I read an article called BI: Is One Version of the Truth Still Out There? , in CRM Buyer, written by David Hatch, vice president and principal analyst of Aberdeen Group's business intelligence practice. He talks about the common issue that the organizations have, when spend months and endure significant costs to obtain the reporting and analysis capabilities that BI (business intelligence) technology promises, only to find that different "versions of the truth" still exist without any definite way of determining which one is real or accurate.

He answered "Yes" to the question: Is "One Version of the Truth" achievable?, based on a research from The Aberdeen Group.

Managers are questioning their level of trust in corporate data: Do the reports, charts and analytic tools in use today represent "the truth?" During August and September 2008, Aberdeen Group surveyed over 200 professionals from 155 companies and interviewed a diverse range of senior executives and operational management professionals working in different industries and geographies. Aberdeen published the research study, called One Version of the Truth 2.0: Are Your Decisions Based on Reality?.

He said that the majority of problems arise at the data source and integration levels, which explains why master data management (MDM) and data warehousing technologies and services are at the forefront of technology investment today, and also emphasized the importance of "data stewardship."

He recommended some actions:
- Start with end-user information requirements
- Build a working group or committee
- Focus on understanding data relationships to the end application
- Establish a formal data stewardship role
- Apply integration techniques to all data types from internal and external sources
- Security is not a job
- Develop and manage milestones.

In my opinion, the main challenge to the companies obtain a single version of the truth is to have a data management well implemented, it includes the concepts of data governance, data integration, data quality, and master data management.

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