By RonMayfield-Oracle on Jan 20, 2016
I believe an Information Architect’s primary purpose is to increase the value of the information assets belonging to an organization. Securing and making information available is no longer sufficient to grow the competitive capabilities of an organization. Information architects must get:
- the right information
- to the right person
- at the right time
- in the right format
- so the best decisions can be made at all levels of the organization.
To assist Information Architects in understanding and defining a process to increase the value of information assets, I have created an Information Value Lifecycle map. This is the first step in understanding the characteristics of information on the way to building Polyglot Persistent Architectures.
Building an Information Value Lifecycle map is done in 7 steps.
Step 1 – Build the Information Value Lifecycle map layout.
Each organization has multiple levels of decision making. For each level of decision making, there are Information Usage patterns and the Information Structures needed to support the usages. The example below starts with the Transaction Owners, the staff that create, maintain and own the transactions required to run the business. At the highest level are the CEO and Board of Directors (BoD). Maps will differ to reflect each organization’s hierarchical process of decision making.
Step 2 – Define the Information Usage patterns and the Information Structures needed to support the Information Usage pattern.
Typically different levels of decision making require different levels of aggregation and summarization of information – from simple transaction reporting to cross line of business and industry aggregations, analytics and predictive analysis. Information architectures over the years have evolved well know sets of information structures (most commonly 3rd Normal Form, Star, Snowflake and Cube schemas) needed to support these Usage Patterns.
Step 3 – Define the processes needed to transform and aggregate information from transactions to the highest level of the decision making process.
Extract, transform and load (ETL) processes move information from one level of decision making to the next based on the information usage patterns. Mapping these ETL process at a high level ensures data linage is understood and information accuracy is guaranteed. Some applications provide capabilities that ‘jump’ the information past some levels to the highest levels of the decision making process. Oracle Hyperion is an example.
Step 4 – Record Master Data Management usage patterns
Understanding Master Data usage patterns gives insights into which types of information are most important to an organization. They also indicate the level of information management maturity – more usage of master data reflects an understanding of the value of master data and a willingness to invest to realize that value.
Step 5 – Identify Big Data usage patterns
Most organizations have begun the process of deploying and realizing the value of Big Data. Recording Big Data usage patterns shows the maturity of an organization in relationship to their ability to adopt and deploy new technologies.
Step 6 – Identify the ‘Gold Nuggets’ in Big Data
Identify where Big Data data mining and analytics has increased the quality and/or quantity of information inputted into the Information Value Lifecycle. These processes are commonly referred to as finding the ‘Gold Nuggets’ of information that were previously not known. It’s important to understand the value of the ‘Gold Nuggets’ in the decision making process of an organization to justify the level of effort and expense of deploying Big Data architectures.
Step 7 – Identify new Big Data information value opportunities
The low cost of some Big Data architectures has allowed organization to capture new sources of data that have lead to new ways of doing business. Many of these use cases include social media as a way of judging the success of marketing campaigns and new product lunches. Capturing these Big Data opportunities shows the agility and innovativeness of an organization.
In the next blog I will introduce the 16 Information Characteristics that make up the heart of the Information Characteristics Architecture Method.