IntroductionThe top 10 enterprise data architecture mistakes and how to avoid them 1
Many organizations pursuing strategic enterprise initiatives, such as Data Warehousing (DW) andBusiness Intelligence (BI), learn the hard way about the importance of their Enterprise DataArchitecture (EDA). Quite often, these initiatives are executed without the overarching data guidancethat is core to building and maintaining an EDA that meets the current needs of the organization,and is flexible enough to grow with it. As a result, these initiatives often lead to data silos that satisfyimmediate information needs of a few business groups, but rarely integrate with the process,business, and systems and technology architecture of the organization as a whole. An ineffectiveEDA then becomes a scapegoat for data confusion shared by the stakeholders driving theseinitiatives.The fact of the matter is, a foundational EDA
which includes the enterprise data model andinformation value chain analysis
is a prerequisite for any DW or BI initiatives. An EDA provides
the blueprint to leverage the organization’s data as assets toward profitability and/or improved
performance. It also facilitates data standardization and provides data integration guidance acrossthe enterprise. In other words, the EDA should be initiated first to establish the overall framework forother IT initiatives, such as DW and BI. However, at many organizations, the IT department startswith BI/DW initiatives first and then tries to introduce data standardization and integration across theenterprise.To avoid cost overruns and expensive program failures (due to ineffective data delivery systems andnonsingular interpretation of data), it is imperative for organizations to invest in the creation of afoundational EDA. Building an EDA is no mean feat, however. It is a complex undertaking that isfraught with pitfalls and challenges. This paper describes the top 10 mistakes that organizationsmake when they undertake an EDA initiative. It provides strategies to avoid these mistakes andfacilitates a more effective EDA build process.