Business Data Modelling

Business Data Modelling – an accelerator for integration projects

Stefan Markus
October 19, 2021 | 5 min read
Modern data warehouse (DWH) architectures foresee a combination of different concepts and technologies to address current demands to build an IT landscape that is able to not only tackle regulatory requirements, but at the same time, can also facilitate flexible ad hoc analytics.

In this modern business intelligence (BI) world one can easily find arguments for defining and harmonizing business language in the form of a Business Glossary or a Business Data Model (BDM) as it breaks up data silos, enables efficient communication not only between business departments, but also with IT and moreover, can accelerate implementation efforts.

Nevertheless, even in classical integration projects the creation of an additional model is critically examined, often mainly due to budget and time limitations. It is no secret that even when most people agree on the most sensible way to approach a new integration project, short cuts and workarounds are chosen to stick to strict timelines. A BDM often falls victim to such cuts, but experience shows it is the wrong place to save costs.

For integration projects to succeed, various critical steps in the requirement gathering process need to be accomplished. There is no way around a proper definition and description of data requirements. It is crucial to understand their granularity, their connection to other requirements or objects of interest. Their meaning needs to be clearly defined upfront, otherwise these questions will come up in later project stages, like technical data modelling or, at the latest, during implementation. To avoid complexity in the beginning only means it will be moved to another time, further down the line, but that is usually when communication is often more difficult and, of course, there is the danger of a faulty implementation leading to high rework efforts in the end after all.

BDM in its methodology incorporates a structured approach that answers all these questions and helps to communicate between all stakeholders. Furthermore, if used as an anchor point in the architecture with structured and precise mappings to all technical layers of the IT infrastructure it serves as an accelerator in the technical specification and implementation phase. It can even be used as a basis for automation efforts.

In addition, tools like Accurity Business Glossary make the maintenance of such models easy, efficient, and user friendly. Quality of life features in Accurity like explicit inheritance of attributes, reusable attribute definitions and composite attributes, combined with an automated synchronization of structures and fields in Data Catalog, save valuable time. The days of using overloaded Excel files and spending effort on maintenance of such are long in the past.

Busting the myth!

So, the suggestion that by omitting the BDM step one can deliver projects in shorter time, with only limited trade off in quality, is a myth. There is no alternative to the core steps that a BDM approach foresees – they are critical for the success and timely realization of data integration projects. If you would like to find out more about how Accurity can help you in your data integration project, feel free to book a personalized 1-on-1 demo with our professional data experts.

Stefan Markus
Head of Professional Services
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