Blueprinting our way to easier data

The mass of data ubiquity surrounding business systems is giving rise to an increasing number of templates and reference architectures that act as a new kind of ‘information blueprint’ for enterprises to shortcut their way to more effective data usage.

shutterstock 1810125160 21.10.20 blueprinting our way to easier data adrian bridgwater

Nobody needs to be told that ‘data is the new oil’ or given any other now increasingly overused analogies to express the importance of information in modern business. We all understand that a typical airline flight generates somewhere approaching a terabyte of data and that all contemporary business systems run on massive data-flows with both employees and machines constantly adding more depth to the data pool.

But the technology industry wants to try and provide us with an answer to what is essentially a data wrangling predicament of its own making.

Surely we can see that one clothing retailer has to manage a relatively similar set of data to that of another similar clothing business, right? Extending the example, surely one car mechanic business works with similar data flows to washing machine repair company. The answer (unfortunately) is both yes and no.

Yes, some companies can use obfuscated anonymised data patterns that other firms have ‘traded’ through software vendor licence agreements and via formalised data marketplace exchange specialists. Big players in the Enterprise Resource Management (ERP) space like to give these services fancy names like Rapid Development Shortcuts or Industry Solution Models and so on.

Meanwhile, in the real world

But it’s also a no, i.e. many enterprise systems will be under too much strain to diversify and offer new services across an increasingly distributed deployment surface to benefit from such shortcutting. In the real world of data management, we need a combination of predefined shortcuts, wider-view reference architecture blueprints plus a good proportion of on-the-job human operational know-how.

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