Data insights

Business Data Modelling and pain of implementation

Marek Matějka
February 25, 2016 | 5 min read
How hands-on experience affects the quality of the final model. Once a business user came to a BIM team member with a query regarding a certain attribute. They wanted to know where the attribute came from because it is not possible to source it from any system. The BIM team member told him: “I do not care about data and how you source it. We put it there to make the model nicer.”

Business Data Modelling (aka BDM, or formerly known as Business Information Modelling) is a methodology we helped to create and develop and is a foundation of the data-intensive projects we deliver. The result of the modeling exercises is a glossary (often implemented utilizing our Accurity Glossary) that then becomes the central point, the only source of truth for all further phases of the project including physical implementation of the data pumps, the data warehouse, the analytical engine, etc.

The BDM phase of the project or program is the most critical one. It sets up expectations of the business users, it defines terms and scope, it (from its nature) involves many business people and it is very intensive and there are usually many streams running in parallel. One of the challenges for the modeling team is to produce a model which could be easily used in the following phases (source-to-target mapping, logical data modeling, development). And this usually creates a conflict of interest. Business users want to create a model which describes the business, is simple and generic enough to be able to accommodate all future changes, and does not take into consideration the pain of implementation of such model. On the other hand, people responsible for implementation don’t usually see the overall picture and do not understand all nuances of the business processes, therefore they want a precise, detailed, and specific model.

Companies usually hire management and business consultancy companies because they rightfully expect these consultancies have experience and business consultants and analysts to help them. They usually hire different companies or utilize internal resources for the technical implementation. It might not be that obvious there can be a catch. The catch is hidden at the interface between the BIM team and the implementation teams. There can be a communication barrier between the parties, there can be also some time gap and there usually is a lack of experience with technical implementation within the BDM team. It is usually much later in the process when implementation teams come up with questions about some specific issues, changes, or requests for more details where the model is not clear or specific enough. It is quite often that the BDM team is long gone when this happens.

One of the biggest advantages of Simplity is that we combine knowledge and experience from both worlds. It enables us to deliver high-quality BDM because we took into consideration also the implementation because we understand that data must be sourced from somewhere, what customer unification means, and how the final report looks like. We never say “We do not care about source data”.

Marek Matějka
BI Consultant

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