5 years, 9 months ago

Solving the Polyglot Persistence Puzzle – Defining the Information Value Lifecycle

I believe an Information Architect’s primary purpose isto increase the value of the information assets belonging to anorganization. Securing and makinginformation available is no longer sufficient to grow the competitivecapabilities of an organization. Information architects must get:

  • the right information
  • to the right person
  • at the right time
  • in the right format
  • so the best decisions can be made at all levels of theorganization.

To assist Information Architects in understanding anddefining a process to increase the value of information assets, I have createdan Information Value Lifecycle map. Thisis the first step in understanding the characteristics of information on theway to building Polyglot Persistent Architectures.

Building an Information Value Lifecycle map is done in 7steps.

Step 1 – Build the Information Value Lifecycle maplayout.

Each organization has multiple levels of decisionmaking. For each level of decisionmaking, there are Information Usage patterns and the Information Structuresneeded to support the usages. Theexample below starts with the Transaction Owners, the staff that create,maintain and own the transactions required to run the business. At the highest level are the CEO and Board ofDirectors (BoD). Maps will differ toreflect each organization’s hierarchical process of decision making.

Step 2 – Define the Information Usage patterns and theInformation Structures needed to support the Information Usage pattern.

Typically different levels of decision making requiredifferent levels of aggregation and summarization of information – from simpletransaction reporting to cross line of business and industry aggregations, analytics and predictive analysis. Information architectures over the years haveevolved well know sets of information structures (most commonly 3rdNormal Form, Star, Snowflake and Cube schemas) needed to support these UsagePatterns.

Step 3 – Define the processes needed to transform andaggregate information from transactions to the highest level of the decisionmaking process.

Extract, transform and load (ETL) processes moveinformation from one level of decision making to the next based on theinformation usage patterns. Mappingthese ETL process at a high level ensures data linage is understood andinformation accuracy is guaranteed. Someapplications provide capabilities that ‘jump’ the information past some levels tothe highest levels of the decision making process. Oracle Hyperion is an example.

Step 4 – Record Master Data Management usage patterns

Understanding Master Data usage patterns gives insightsinto which types of information are most important to an organization. They also indicate the level of informationmanagement maturity – more usage of master data reflects an understanding ofthe value of master data and a willingness to invest to realize that value.

Step 5 – Identify Big Data usage patterns

Most organizations have begun the process of deployingand realizing the value of Big Data. RecordingBig Data usage patterns shows the maturity of an organization in relationshipto their ability to adopt and deploy new technologies.

Step 6 – Identify the ‘Gold Nuggets’ in Big Data

Identify where Big Data data mining and analytics hasincreased the quality and/or quantity of information inputted into the InformationValue Lifecycle. These processes arecommonly referred to as finding the ‘Gold Nuggets’ of information that were previouslynot known. It’s important to understandthe value of the ‘Gold Nuggets’ in the decision making process of anorganization to justify the level of effort and expense of deploying Big Dataarchitectures.

Step 7 – Identify new Big Data information valueopportunities

The low cost of some Big Data architectures has allowedorganization to capture new sources of data that have lead to new ways of doingbusiness. Many of these use casesinclude social media as a way of judging the success of marketing campaigns andnew product lunches. Capturing these BigData opportunities shows the agility and innovativeness of an organization.

In the next blog I will introduce the 16 Information Characteristics that make up the heart of the Information Characteristics Architecture Method.

5 years, 9 months ago

Solving the Polyglot Persistence Puzzle

Solving the Polyglot Persistence Puzzle
– Using the Oracle Information Characteristics Architecture Method

Polyglot – Knowing or using several languages.
Persistence – A coding technique or technology used to store information.
Polyglot Persistence – Storing information in multiple information management technologies to meet a business requirement.

The Polyglot Persistence Puzzle – Combining multiple information management technologies into comprehensive information architectures to meet business requirements.

Today an information architect has a wide array of information management technologies available to solve business problems.  451 Research published a Data Platform Map in June 2015 that identified 277 information management products in 18 categories.  


Three forces have contributed the explosion of information management technologies: 

1. The enormous amount and types of information generated on the internet and by connected devices,
2. The reduction in the cost of compute and storage platforms per a unit of processing capability and,
3. The explosion of open source products for specific information management use cases.

Together, these forces have provided the opportunity for information architects to collect data onto low-cost platforms that only a few years ago would have been deemed too high-volume, too low-value and too expensive to capture.  Hence we are now in the era of Big Data – high-volume, low-value data that can be cost effectively researched, explored and mined.  But experience has shown that the value of Big Data is multiplied many times over of it can be combined with high-value information in existing systems to enhance the quality of decisions made throughout the organization, i.e. solving the Polyglot Persistence Puzzle. This daunting task falls to the Information Architects.  It is the Information Architects that must lead the era of Big Data into the era of Polyglot Persistence for organizations to take full advantage new types of information and information management technologies.

But with this new era comes the need for new ways and methodologies to solve the inevitable Polyglot Persistence Puzzle.

In this series of blog articles, we will introduce and explain such a new methodology – Oracle Information Characteristics Architecture Method (ICAM).  ICAM measures 16 information characteristics and 8 usage patterns to evaluate and value information to assist Information Architects in making the best information management technologies decisions, i.e. the right tools for the right job.  ICAM has been developed with input from many Oracle information management thought leaders from around the world.  We have also worked with a handful of beta customers to implement and refine ICAM with very positive feedback and results.  My colleague, Bill Wimsatt, and I will post several blog articles explaining and walking through the process of implementing ICAM and showing the value of using this methodology.

The next ICAM blog article ‘Why solving the Polyglot Persistence Puzzle is so important today – The Information Value Lifecycle’.

Bill Wimsatt is a Senior Business Technology Professional with a broad background combining business and IT strategy, execution, and program management.  He has over 25 years experience in business and IT strategy and business optimization.

Ron Mayfield is the Senior Enterprise Architect specializing in database and information architectures at Oracle.  Ron has been a professional in the IT industry for 30 years and an employee of Oracle for the last 26 years.

Bill and Ron will be presenting ICAM at the Open Group Towards Boundaryless Information Flow™ in San Fransisco on Wednesday, January 27, 2016, at 9:00 – 9:45pm.  Their presentation is titled ‘Developing Information Architectures via Business Capabilities and Information Characteristics’.

‘Boundaryless Information Flow’ is a trademark of The Open Group.