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Posts Tagged ‘Master Data’

The Curse of Self-Service

August 18, 2013 17 comments

These days, we seem to be high on data and data related trends. My opinion on Big Data should be well known to my readers: it is something that has to be carefully managed and largely a fad for all but a select few companies.

With data being the new black, similar trends grab the attention of modern managers. One of these is Self Service. It seems like such a logical consequence of our advanced data visualisation: democratise the data.

It’s worth noting that the notion of humans making better decisions when well served with information is rather old. Thomas Jefferson said: “whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government”. But what exactly does it mean to be well-informed? Another great statesman, Churchill, said: “The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter”.

In this blog entry, I will argue that is does not follow that humans will make better decisions if we just give them access to more data. In fact, allowing people to self-service their data can be outright harmful.

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Physically Placing the Maps in the architecture

August 19, 2011 2 comments

Before we leave the maps behind, I need to live up to my promise of describing the storage characteristics of tables visited during the journey through the warehouse architecture. This must include the physical location of maps. Since believe form must follow function in a DW, let us just recall their function:

From a functional perspective, I have shown you how map tables can be used to both track and correct source system keys. Maps are not visible to the end user, but they are a necessary part of the data’s journey from the source to the final data model. Maps also provide the abstraction of, or interface to, master data sources. In the absence of those sources – the maps can even serve as a makeshift master data repository.

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Transforming Source Keys to Real Keys – Part 2: Using Maps To Fix Key Problems

August 15, 2011 11 comments

KeysIn part 1 of this post, I introduced the idea of map tables. These tables serve as an abstraction between the source systems and the entities in the data warehouse. In this post, I will describe how you can use the maps to correct for source key errors.

Using the taxonomy of key pathologies described earlier, I will walk you through some examples of map usage.

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Transforming Source Keys to Real Keys – Part 1: Introducing Map tables

August 4, 2011 17 comments

I have ranted enough about the key quality, or lack thereof, in source systems. It is time to look at how we will practically go about transforming the dirty source to the final DW model. What I shall propose is a de-coupling of the source entities from the data warehouse entities. As will be shown, this leads to an interesting ETL pattern that can either address, or properly encapsulate, a variety of source problems.

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