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David Loshin

Welcome to my BeyeNETWORK Blog. This is going to be the place for us to exchange thoughts, ideas and opinions on all aspects of the information quality and data integration world. I intend this to be a forum for discussing changes in the industry, as well as how external forces influence the way we treat our information asset. The value of the blog will be greatly enhanced by your participation! I intend to introduce controversial topics here, and I fully expect that reader input will "spice it up." Here we will share ideas, vendor and client updates, problems, questions and, most importantly, your reactions. So keep coming back each week to see what is new on our Blog!

About the author >

David is the President of Knowledge Integrity, Inc., a consulting and development company focusing on customized information management solutions including information quality solutions consulting, information quality training and business rules solutions. Loshin is the author of The Practitioner's Guide to Data Quality Improvement, Master Data Management, Enterprise Knowledge Management: The Data Quality Approachand Business Intelligence: The Savvy Manager's Guide. He is a frequent speaker on maximizing the value of information. David can be reached at loshin@knowledge-integrity.com or at (301) 754-6350.

Editor's Note: More articles and resources are available in David's BeyeNETWORK Expert Channel. Be sure to visit today!

November 2006 Archives

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays, and it gives me the opportunity to review some of things that took place over the past year for which I, my family, and my staff are grateful.

Some family high points for 2006: the birth of our newest daughter; the emergence of my oldest daughter as an insatiable reader and musician; my son's joy at learning how to read, his soccer prowess, and his first experiences with music; the development of our younger children's engaging personalities; our moving across the street from the kids' grandparents.

Company-wise, we have continued to work with great clients, expanded our staff, worked with international customers, developed numerous white papers, and participated in training sessions, web seminars, live events, and conferences.

Personally, I am grateful for my wife, family, my friends, and my professional colleagues. I am especially glad that in 2006 I have had the chance to interact with numerous data quality, business intelligence, and information management professionals through the different channels, including my columns and the blog here at B-Eye-Network. The chance to exchange ideas with all of you has enriched us and our customers, and I hope to have greater opportunities to exchange ideas in the coming year!

Posted November 22, 2006 10:26 AM
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Even top management at open source BI companies seem to feel that the costs associated with deploying open source projects are roughly the same as going the traditional route. On the other hand, since the costs for deploying an open source solution are largely on the back-end (e.g., paying people to do things) instead of the front-end (e.g., software licensing fees), there might be a greater ability to start a BI project using open source tools than trying to justify the costs just to get to the starting gate.

However, in terms of innovation, open source projects often trail the traditional commercial tool vendors. Open source projects grow by community participation, in which lots of contributors make things happen, or through acquisition, in which components are added to the mix through negotiated deals. So while there are some benefits to starting with open source, I suspect the general process might be to migrate over time to a traditional commercial product.

Here is the challenge: I am interested in experiences using open source Business Intelligence software, good, bad, ugly, or beautiful. Feel free to email me or post directly to the blog. I am looking forward to some responses!

Posted November 15, 2006 10:34 AM
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Last week at the TDWI conference in orlando, I had the chance to briefly chat with Phillip Russom, who has assembled some very nice research papers this year on data quality and on master data management. One comment about his latest effort on MDM that I found intriguing was that his research suggested that a large number of MDM projects are done on behalf of finance activities, often in the area of accounting (GL, chart of accounts, item lists, etc.). I thought a large part of that data was what we might call "reference data," not necessarily "master data." One the one hand, it is good to see that the kinds of governance that are relevant for financial activities being applied to data.

However, his comment drives back to a question I must have heard 10 times down there - what is the difference between master data and reference data? This underlies an even more challenging question - how do you define "master data"? We have a lot of descriptions of master data, but nothing definitive. Dan Linstedt has done a good job of tracking some of these questions in his blog, but I think it is about time to nail this definition down. Any suggestions?

Posted November 13, 2006 8:09 AM
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