Driving through the data noise: getting business benefit from a complex data landscape

Wednesday 27 June 2012


For this annual joint event with the UK Chapter of DAMA International looking at the complex data landscape and how to get business benefit from that data we had four speakers.

The day started with a presentation from Andy Whitehurst of Steria UK whose topic was Speed to Menu: Harnessing MDM in the hospitality trade. Steria has recently worked with a major player in the UK hospitality industry to implement a product information management (PIM) MDM solution to drive the business benefit of faster speed to market [menu] for new product lines. This major MDM implementation replaced a highly manual, reactive and complex data architecture with a single and consistent version of the truth to drive speed and accuracy of new product on-boarding within a fast paced and consumer led hospitality business. The presentation explored the high level business case and challenges that initially faced the organisation, as well as the methods employed to quickly derive the most appropriate MDM technology and architecture to facilitate the overarching business change. The presentation also exposed the successes and challenges of such an implementation, providing evidence of best practice and key lessons learned.

Next up was Mike Ferguson of Intelligent Business Strategies Limited who spoke on Maximizing the Business Value of Data Virtualization. His presentation looked at growing interest in data virtualization technology and described how it works. It also described how to get the most out of data virtualization technology by presenting a series of patterns on how it can be used. The following were covered:

  • What is Data Virtualization?
  • Why is it needed? - Business problems
  • How data virtualization works
  • Popular data virtualization patterns to maximise business value
  • Data Virtualization patterns for use in Business intelligence and corporate performance management
  • Data Virtualization patterns for Data warehousing
  • Data Virtualization patterns for use in Master data management
  • Data Virtualization as a vehicle for Information services

Mike's presentation is not available for download.

After lunch we heard a discussion on The intelligent business and Business Intelligence from Dan Burrows of Waterstons. Dan, who is a Senior Business Technology Consultant, discussed the characteristics typical of the ‘intelligent business’; a well-controlled and well-understood organisation able to measure its performance based on factual evidence and base business decisions on sound performance indicators. Dan then demonstrated how the Balanced Scorecard defined by Kaplan & Norton represents the top level KPIs that can be used as the critical first stage of designing an effective business intelligence solution for any organisation.

The final presentation was from Lee Edwards of DAMA UK. Her topic was Global Data Modelling in Practice. This presentation gave a view of some of the challenges encountered during development of global data models and some ideas on how to find a successful resolution developed during 15 years of front line practice.

This was followed by a panel debate with Andy, Mike Dan and Lee and a networking session.

PDF Icon Driving through the Data Noise - Andy Whitehurst

PDF Icon The Intelligent Business and Business Intelligence - Dan Burrows

PDF Icon Global Data Modelling in Practice - Lee Edwards