Data Architecture Principles

Do you know how well Data is treated in your organization?

Yes or No?

Data Concepts

The Current State Data Architecture of your organization is the set of implemented data concepts in your organization.

Data Concepts are approaches to work with data that exist outside and inside your organization.

For example concepts like Data Sharing and Data Validation.

Once a concept is made part of your data architecture, we call it a Data Architecture Concept.

Do you have a list of implemented data concepts?

Data Principles

Data principles are the way that data concepts work.

The data principles tell you what the effect is of treating data, using data, storing and retrieving data in a certain way.

Once you have made a data concept part of your data architecture, the principle of that concept is a data architecture principle for your organization.

Most importantly, your implemented data architecture principles tell you how well you integrate data in your business and let it flow uninterrupted as fuel through your processes and your systems.

Do you have a list of implemented data principles?

Having Insight and Overview

So knowing which data architecture principles are implemented (and how well) in your organization, reveals a lot of information you can use to innovate and compete better.

The question is also which data concepts and principles you need to have implemented at which maturity level because of your strategy and business model. This is all about the future state data architecture.

The better your data architecture (ie. concepts and their principles) is aligned with your strategy and business model, the better you can execute your strategy and run your business model.

The benefit of working with Concepts and Architecture Principles

A concept (an abstraction of implementation or approach) always has one or more principles (the way the concept works, producing results).

Scientists discover and develop new concepts and principles every day.

They help you to innovate and compete.

Knowing the principle of a concept, helps you decide whether you need the concept for your company or not because it learns you which results are produced.

List of Data Architecture Principles

The following data architecture principles help you improve your data architecture and thus your organization's strength.

First, the concept is named, then the first principle of the concept is stated. Where possible a literature reference and a (design)guideline is provided.

ConceptPrincipleReferenceGuidelines
Data (Asset) ManagementBy ingesting, storing, organizing and maintaining the data created and collected by the organization via documented and mature processes it is ensured more-informed business decisions, improve marketing campaigns, optimized business operations and reduce costs can be made and with that increasing revenue, profits, existance and business continuity.n/a...
Data ValidationBy validating all data at the point of entry, it is ensured that the quality of the data in the system is increased.n/a...
Data DiscoveryBy automating regular data discoveries, it is ensured that the organization knows how much data it is getting in, which data sets are aligned and which applications need to be updated.n/a...
Data SharingBy sharing data with other departments, it is ensured that silos in the organization are removed and more people have a 360 client view.n/a...
Optimal InterfacesBy providing the right interfaces to users, it is ensured that data can be easily shared and is accessible for others.n/a...
Data Security and Access ControlBy developing access policies and data access controls at the raw data level, data is much more secured and access is controlled better.n/a...
Data Privacy...n/a...
Common VocabularyBy establishing a common vocabulary it is ensured that consistency is realized.n/a...
Data CurationBy curating data (like modeling the correct data relationships and cleansing data), it is ensured that the perceived and actual data quality is increased.n/a...
Data IntegrationBy integrating data in a logical way, it is ensured that less data is copied for completeness of data view.n/a...
Data Elimination By eliminating data copies and movement of data, it is ensured that costs are lower, quality of data higher and the organization is more agile.n/a...
Data Analyses/Intelligence...n/a...
Data Algorithms...n/a...
Data Prediction...n/a...
Data Visualization...n/a...
Data Lake...n/a...
Data Warehouse...n/a...
Data Virtualization...n/a...
Data Hub...n/a...
Data Complexity...n/a...
Data Transactions...n/a...

Are some of these data principles of interest to you? Give it a thought for a moment!

The above list is available as open data architecture principles set (in JSON format).

You can download the data set here and upload it to watch them in the Dragon1 Viewer.

Understanding Data Sharing Principles

Many organizations want to break down their silos by sharing data across departments.

But after 1 or 2 years after they have decided there are still many silos in the organization. Various departments are not sharing their data that makes sense to share, when in fact they could.

NOTE: In business, organizational silos refer to departments that operate independently from other departments and are not sharing data with others

Suppose the organization has said, "Data, metadata, products, and information from one business division, should be fully and openly shared with other business divisions, subject to national or international jurisdictional laws and policies, including respecting appropriate extant restrictions and in accordance with international standards of ethical research conduct."

According to the Dragon1 method this statement is not favored to be labeled as a principle but as a general rule or guideline. The rationale behind this general rule or guideline will often contain what Dragon1 favors as the principle.

Why does Dragon1 not label this statement above as a principle?

If we view Data Sharing as a concept, then we can describe the way how the concept of Data Sharing works and realizes outcomes. We can describe how key elements collaborate and produce results.

We can focus on what is always true with regard to how things work.

When we stumble upon these things, then we are describing the principles of Data Sharing.

A principle of Data Sharing could be "By identifying all data that could be shared from any division and has clear value for that, and by removing all obstacles for sharing and making sharing mandatory via policies, it is ensured that more data is shared between business divisions and that silos are broken down."

The description above is a way of working that is always true (or at least highly likely to be always true). It is a working mechanism. (of course, this example has to be researched more.)

Once we have this knowledge on a principle (on how the world works), it will influence how we design solutions, systems and policies.

So, the principle above has an impact.

For instance, the key element of a data sharing policy often is missing, or a list of identified data that makes sense to share. And if you implement the key elements, you increase the chances of actually sharing data and breaking down silos.

If you like the above, please try it in your work.

If you don't like it, just keep using and relying on your current habit.

What To Do - Checklist

Here follows a checklist on what best to do with the principles:

  1. Make an inventory of data concepts and data architecture principles that are currently implemented in your company.
  2. Use the provided list of principles here as a reference or starting point.
  3. Collect the business process flow diagrams (BPMN), data diagrams (DMN) application components diagrams (UML and ArchiMate) that and IT Infrastructure diagrams (Azure, Amazone, Citrix or IBM models) are or should be affected by the data architecture principles.
  4. Identify how processes, data, applications and IT infrastructure are or should have been affected by the principles.
  5. Analyze the gap.
  6. Create a roadmap to fill that gap.

Measure, Visualize and Rationalize

It is important for any organization out there to measure how well data architecture principles are implemented and at which maturity level?

Also, it is important to rationalize which data architecture principles one needs and does not need.

This is all-important because it makes you sit in the driver's seat of the strategy of the organization.

Data, in many organizations, will soon be an uncontrollable complex whole.

The better you control or manage your data or its complexity, the better you can compete.

Getting Started

The above steps are supported by the Dragon1 platform.

Create an account and get guided to document, measure, rationalize and improve your data architecture principles.

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