My oh my, we've thrown a lot of terms in to the mix. These days when you read magazine articles or you look through your local friendly blogger :) you find a slew of these terms used. Maybe it's time to refresh our memory on exactly what these terms mean. Why? Because they are pertinent to MDM and MMDM (master metadata data management). So read on...
These definitions have been pulled from http://www.websters.com
1. The classification of organisms in an ordered system that indicates natural relationships.
2. The science, laws, or principles of classification; systematics.
3. Division into ordered groups or categories: â€śScholars have been laboring to develop a taxonomy of young killersâ€ť (Aric Press).
1. The act, process, or result of classifying.
2. A category or class.
3. Biology. The systematic grouping of organisms into categories on the basis of evolutionary or structural relationships between them; taxonomy.
1. The branch of metaphysics that deals with the nature of being.
1. The act of registering; registration.
2. The registered nationality of a ship.
3. A place for registering.
-- A book for official records.
-- The place where such records are kept.
Ok, what does this have to do with Master Data or Metadata or BI for that matter?
The industry is throwing the terms around too loosely. Registries are being used for Metadata, as such they should be - at the bottom level of a Taxonomy is a registry. The first step to successful enterprise Metadata Management or governance is getting a handle on the Taxonomy of the business and the metadata used within the business. This is critical to identifying and governing specific components of the MDM strategy.
Taxonomies should be utilized to manage, govern, and view (visualize) the metadata from an enterprise perspective. However, the act of building a metadata management solution, or a Master Data Management solution requires the implementation of a classification with a registry or set of registries underneath.
It is vital that we all speak the same language here and not get confused. Some of my blog entries I've discussed the possibilities of VISUALIZING data sets, well guess what? An EASY way to visualize huge metadata collections is to use a Tree classification as the implementation side of the taxonomy. The registries are at the leaves in the trees and provide further drill down, but have nothing to do with the visualization.
Wait a minute, I can see this for Metadata, but how does that help my MDM effort?
Well, as I've blogged before - Metadata or Master Metadata Management needs to be a part of EVERY MDM initiative out there. Why? Because it provides the CONTEXT to understanding our Master Data. How it's used, where it's used, when it should / should not be used, and what the elements mean at varying levels within the organization.
Master Metadata (at a very simplistic viewpoint) really is a data-driven taxonomy (representation) of the BUSINESS. Without tying our master data back to the business it will lose value quickly within the company, and eventually end up where all master systems end-up... in the sunset on the horizon...
Questions? Thoughts? Haiku's? Incantations? I'll take them all, let me know what you think...