Business need to define their organizational rules, policies and process in order to realize their projected growth within a specified period. In order to realize these targets, the essentially need to have a basic framework as the guide in their operations.
The gathering and use of data is a very substantial aspect in business that can either make or break the company. It is essential that a company should have a data architecture to describe the methods to process, and utilize data in a given system.
A Common Data Architecture is one of the pillars of Business Enterprise Architecture with the other pillars being Business Architecture, Applications Architecture and Integration Architecture. With a Common Data Architecture, the company will have a solid criteria for processing data operations and make possible a good design data flow in the system.
Many companies hire the services of a data architect to define target state and align business development and make constant monitoring to ensure that the blue print is optimized and strictly followed by the people implementing the business processes.
Data architects usually design the Data Architecture by breaking down subjects into atomic level then build them back again into the prescribed form of the company. The design process goes through conceptualization, which takes care of representing business entities; logical representation, which handles the formation of logic on how entities are related; and physical implementation, the realization of data mechanism to specific function business functionalities.
Common Data Architectures answer these basic questions:
1. How are data stored for persistence?
2. How do components and processes reference and manipulate business data?
3. How do external and legacy systems access the data?
4. How will the interfaces to manage data by external and legacy systems be designed?
5. How will common data operations be implemented?
There are three general requirements in designing a Common Data Architecture. They are Data Requirements, Organizational Requirements and Technology Requirements.
Data Requirements are based on functional requirements. Enterprise information system data requirements may include reports and queries, persistent summaries and roll ups, and data warehousing.
Organizational Requirements are data that need to be fully integrated and seamless accessible to all the people operating the business. With today’s business having branches spread over several geographical locations, data distribution should meet several challenges like transparent management of fragmented, replicated and distributed data, improving performance, reliability and availability through distributed transactions and easier and more economical system expansion.
Technology Requirements refer to the suggested or imposed by organizational integration on the business framework or standard. These requirements are based on identified products, business activities and the target of the organization to have expertise between development projects and lower cost of licensing by leveraging sites or multiple licensing discounts.
Technology Requirements specify the needs to acquire the appropriate hardware and software to implement the architecture once the whole system is in place. Since the market is teeming with multitudes of products and services pertaining to information technology, the company has a wide array of choices based on product quantity, quality and price whichever suits the needs of the business architecture.
Having a common business architecture for a company that does not only have multiple departments but have multiple branches as well can make seamless integration policies as well as disparate communication protocols, software applications and technological hardware. It can help make a big company move as one united force.