8 years, 4 months ago

Solving the Polyglot Persistence Puzzle – Defining the Information Value Lifecycle





I believe an Information Architect’s primary purpose is
to increase the value of the information assets belonging to an
organization. Securing and making
information available is no longer sufficient to grow the competitive
capabilities 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 the

To assist Information Architects in understanding and
defining a process to increase the value of information assets, I have created
an Information Value Lifecycle map. This
is the first step in understanding the characteristics of information on the
way to building Polyglot Persistent Architectures.

Building an Information Value Lifecycle map is done in 7

Step 1 – Build the Information Value Lifecycle map
layout.Each organization has multiple levels of decision
making. For each level of decision
making, there are Information Usage patterns and the Information Structures
needed to support the usages. The
example 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 of
Directors (BoD). Maps will differ to
reflect each organization’s hierarchical process of decision making.

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

Typically different levels of decision making require
different levels of aggregation and summarization of information – from simple
transaction reporting to cross line of business and industry aggregations, analytics and predictive analysis. Information architectures over the years have
evolved well know sets of information structures (most commonly 3rd
Normal Form, Star, Snowflake and Cube schemas) needed to support these Usage

Step 3 – Define the processes needed to transform and
aggregate information from transactions to the highest level of the decision
making process.

Extract, transform and load (ETL) processes move
information from one level of decision making to the next based on the
information usage patterns. Mapping
these ETL process at a high level ensures data linage is understood and
information accuracy is guaranteed. Some
applications provide capabilities ‘jump’ the information past some levels to
the 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 insights
into which types of information are most important to an organization. They also indicate the level of information
management maturity – more usage of master data reflects an understanding of
the 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 deploying
and realizing the value of Big Data. Recording
Big Data usage patterns shows the maturity of an organization in relationship
to 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 has
increased the quality and/or quantity of information inputted into the Information
Value Lifecycle. These processes are
commonly referred to as finding the ‘Gold Nuggets’ of information that were previously
not known. It’s important to understand
the value of the ‘Gold Nuggets’ in the decision making process of an
organization to justify the level of effort and expense of deploying Big Data

Step 7 – Identify new Big Data information value

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

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8 years, 5 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.

10 years, 2 months ago

Public Sector Open Data via Information Sharing and Enterprise Architecture

Recent government policies and public demand for open data is rapidly exposing both opportunities and challenges within government information-sharing environments, behind the firewall – in turn a fantastic opportunity and challenge for the Enterprise Architects and Data Management organizations.

10 years, 9 months ago

Fragility of Markets and Architecture Failure

As the NASDAQ exchange came to a grinding halt this past week, I, as well as many of you perhaps thought about system failure and what was the series of events and initial conditions that preceded the shutdown. Did a human did something strange that set a series of events in motion that jeopardized the…

12 years, 10 months ago

A Model for Literature on Enterprise Architecture

I have been working with several different perspectives on governance, strategy, it architecture and enterprise architecture. I have read several books on the three topics and as such I have been able to build a model for categorizing the literature. … Continue reading

13 years, 15 days ago

Five Ways to Organize Information

In his book Information Anxiety, Richard Saul Wurman notes that there are five basic ways to organize information:

  • Alphabet: The organizing principle used by dictionaries and telephone books.
  • Category: The segmentation of things by attribute or functionality, such as color (shirts) or capabilities (product line).
  • Continuum: Similar to category, but rather than using discrete buckets, this uses a range of values that are expressed in numbers or units. Examples of these magnitude measures include from small to large or from light to heavy. A list of products ordered by price would be a continuum; at the same time, the products could be categorized as inexpensive, moderate, or expensive.
  • Location: Physical location — in geography, points on a map; in anatomy, muscle groups; in an equipment manual, an exploded drawing.
  • Time: A timeline or a set of eras, useful when describing product or organizational history.


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13 years, 5 months ago

Where is the information when we need it?

We boarded the plane, settled down in our seats, to await pushback from the gate – the usual ‘hurry up and wait’ of everyday air-travel. Seemed to take a bit longer than usual, though. Strange clonks and thumps from beneath my seat, down below in the cargo bay. We wait, and we wait.
[I won’t name […]