Tuesday, April 19th, 2011 - 13:02
Tuesday, April 19, 2011 - 12:57
The four common data management approaches are defined and offers insights into where they apply in a modern agency.
Last week our guest blogger, Johnny Barnes, Public Sector Chief Technology Officer, shared with us some of the benefits and cost savings agencies can achieve through application consolidation.
He mentioned how most agencies have widely dispersed non-standard and unstructured data but are under pressure to be more accountable, improve data quality, enhance reliability, generate higher throughput and reduce budgets. Add data complexity and tighter business-IT integration to the mix and you have a perfect motivator for acceleration of data integration strategy to gain more value from data. The CIOs are feeling the heat! Luckily, exciting new solutions are emerging to cut through the complexity and improve data access – but more later. First, we want to briefly summarize data integration approaches, the related agency end goals and an agency assessment approach.
There are four common data management approaches – bulk movement; message oriented movement; replication and synchronization; and federated views.
1. Bulk movement is typically accomplished with Extract, Transform and Load (ETL) to move data to data marts or warehouses.
2. Message-oriented movement depends on a message bus which, when triggered by external events, orchestrates receipt and delivery of encapsulated data packets.
3. Important in mission-critical scenarios, data replication and synchronization allows hot (live) backups across multiple database systems and across multiple locations.
4. Federated views query multiple heterogeneous source systems to create a seamlessly integrated view.
There are five data related end goals – business intelligence and warehousing; operational consistency; migrations and consolidations; master data management; and B2B data sharing.
1. Warehousing allows data from multiple sources to be integrated into a form optimized for retrieval and reporting by business intelligence analytics for improved decision making.
2. To achieve operational consistency across applications, tools (e.g. message-oriented movement) are used to synch inter-application messages.
3. Reorganization, mergers, acquisitions and modernization lead to data migration and consolidation scenario. While custom code can work in this situation, there is a strong business case for automation and reduced down time.
4. Master data management (MDM) creates a “single version of truth”, creating a unified view of the core data of the enterprise.
5. B2B data sharing utilizes standard formats and focuses on passing messages and coordination.
Most vendors offer bulk movement but integration of other capabilities remains spotty despite a growing trend towards convergence of various integration approaches. To define an effective strategy, CIOs first need to inventory the existing tools. Next they should examine current projects and those in the pipeline and map the results in the form given below.
This simple matrix mapping will quickly indicate organizational maturity and whether existing tools can meet the long-term vision. It will aid with deciding a preferred agency-wide approach.
Once data integration tools and strategy are aligned, new state-of-the-art solutions should be considered. Agencies should consider tools that help analyze structured and unstructured data for better decision making, rapidly process real-time data from a large number of sources, provide scalable storage-virtualization with simplified user access and manage multiple petabytes of storage with up to a billion files in a single file system. An increase in inter-enterprise sharing and exponential increase in data makes these new, innovative ways of capitalizing on data very attractive.
Ravi Bansal is a project executive and a strategist at IBM Global Business Services. He is a proven business leader with experience proposing, leading and delivering multimillion-dollar business solutions. In addition, Mr. Bansal is a strategist for IBM federal’s cloud computing and smarter government initiatives. He authored 5E framework for targeted IT consolidation and the strategic framework for cloud alliances. He is passionate about cloud computing, cleantech, next generation business strategies and most importantly, helping clients articulate vision for their business.
Mr. Bansal is one of IBM Americas’ top consultants and has also been inducted in IBM’s delivery excellence circle. Over years he has been honored with numerous awards for outstanding business performance and exceptional client service. Outside of direct work responsibilities, he is involved in an eclectic collection of giveback activities. Among other things, he was an officer of the Executive Committee of Metropolitan Washington Mensa, canvasser for IBM employee charitable contributions campaign and a guest speaker at business schools. Mr. Bansal is a graduate of The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania with majors in Finance and Strategy.