Sunday, April 27, 2014

How to Define the Target for Enterprise Information Management

In my recent post "The Organizational Challenge of Enterprise Information Management", I recommended to create a high-level conceptual data model as a target map for Enterprise Information Management (EIM), with Master Data Management (MDM) and Data Governance being core strategies to transform the organization from legacy structure to a data-driven business.

Below I have included a (not necessarily exhaustive) example of a high-level EIM map for an insurance company. 

Created with SILVERRUN RDM Relational Data Modeler - Tool for Conceptual, Logical and Physical Data Modeling
Click to enlarge

(The blue rectangles are Master Entities while the grey rectangles represent the major transactional entities.)

The decisive advantage of such an EIM map as a strategic orientation is: This target is not moving! As long as the business subject does not change (in this example: as long as the business does not add or drop any insured risk), this model does not need to be altered. It represents a sound structure that was valid 20 years ago (even if the term Master Data Management was not coined at that time), it is applicable today, and I dare to predict that it will still be in 20 years from now.

If applications are aligned to this model, they can answer business questions that a disparate system cannot (or cannot sufficiently), e.g. such as:
  • Which policies are owned by a certain party? (Single view of the customer)
  • Who are the most profitable / most risky customers? (Risk management)
  • Are there same groups of people that are - with changing roles - repeatedly involved in car accidents? (Fraud detection)
Being implementation-independent, a high-level EIM map will help any business in any industry to develop a long-term strategy to move from a siloed data / application architecture to integrated Enterprise Information Management and to provide answers to any organization's respective business questions.


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