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1. Todd Nuckols - November 20, 2007

I suppose I should read more on your metadata management techniques (and will) but your take on the erosion of the consolidated BI stack is spot on. My question is how will semantic definitions lay into the metadata management process?

Using business domain taxonomies or even folksonomies may open the door to the consumption of less rigorous sources for composite visualization. This in some cases can replace the activities of base reporting and insight while the more sophisticated core technologies focus on heavier lifting predictive analytic tasks.

In fact, even simple tools like spreadsheet mashing can empower BI users beyond just categorization and search associated with portal or content management tools. No?

2. Cyril Brookes - November 20, 2007

Thanks for the comment.
As I see it, it’s not the semantic definitions that are so important in Metadata Management. My key metadata aspects that facilitate effective BI include:
What data is available for use,
where is it,
what dimensions does it have,
where did it come from (its lineage) including how was it modified during ETL,
is it derived from other data (e.g. a KPI),
which reports use which data,
how is the data employed in calculations for reporting.

I agree that spreadsheet mash-ups will be very useful in bringing unstructured data, especially tacit data, into the realm of collaborative BI. A blend of hard analytical information with explanations, assessments and opinions will be most effective.

To me, and many others I know, for all its warts the Excel sheet is, and will continue to be, the vehicle of choice for most business analysts and executives. It is just like the browser becoming the window on the world of search and dissemination.


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