Confession Time … I Fell into the Same Vocabulary Trap I Warn Everyone Else About
I have been involved in a great on-going discussion on LinkedIn about data models. I posed the question: Is there any proven way to demonstrate data models are correct, complete, and stable with respect to the operational business and its needs? You might enjoy joining in: http://goo.gl/MsnXu
It was literally 25 messages into the discussion that I realized “data model” was being used in two distinct ways in the discussion. And even then it had to be pointed out by a participant who seemed to know one of the other people.
That’s always the problem with vocabulary – deeply buried assumptions that prevent you from hearing what you need to hear. From experience, I know the trap oh-so-well, but here I fell right into it myself.
What’s the answer to the question I posed for “data models” (of the kind I meant)? Focusing on the meaning and structure of business vocabulary, not data, as a core part of business analysis.
Note to self (a rule): When you enter any discussion, be clear what you mean by the terms you use – even (and maybe especially) the ‘obvious’ ones.
- I always mean “data model” in the ‘old’ way, in which the data model supports real-time business operations (or close thereto). In that world, you must design for integrity, which generally means ‘highly normalized’ in the relational sense.
- In the old-but-not-nearly-as-old world of OLAP, real-time operations and updates are not a concern, so de-normalization (and redundancy) are presumably acceptable. (I’ll leave that question to the experts.)
Tags: business vocabulary, concept analysis, data models, fact models, terms
Ronald G. Ross
Ron Ross, Principal and Co-Founder of Business Rules Solutions, LLC, is internationally acknowledged as the “father of business rules.” Recognizing early on the importance of independently managed business rules for business operations and architecture, he has pioneered innovative techniques and standards since the mid-1980s. He wrote the industry’s first book on business rules in 1994.