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In the last 72 hours I've spent about 14 moving enities, connecting them with relationship and simplifying two divergent models down to one. In order to draw the boxes and lines and have them make sense there is no question that I have to have prior knowledge of the business (either personal or gleened from subject matter experts) and a modicum of modeling skills . There is no question that trying to make the model simple to understand is a BIG challenge. It's just so easy to keep cramming more boxes onto the diagram!
Toggle Commented Mar 29, 2010 on Data modeling as a career at Project X Discussions
The challenge of data stewardship or any kind of stewardship is accepting the value of the activity and allocating time to performing it. For example we are all the stewards of our own estate, but have we all taken the time to write a will? Tell someone they are the steward of a particular piece of data or metadata and the response will be a blank look. All documentation and metadata collection suffers from the problem of being necessary but boring. Therefore we need to look at how the act of stewardship, the act of documentation, the act of governance can be imbedded into the other activities we perform and become a by-product of those activities. Otherwise these activities will always fall through the cracks.
Toggle Commented Dec 15, 2005 on Data Stewardship at Project X Discussions
The classic definition of metadata is: It's the data about the data. This description always confused me. The best analogy I've heard is this: In the real world, when we walk into a bank and apply for a loan we are given a form to fill out. The bank could provide us with a blank piece of paper and ask us to supply all the relevant information but instead they give us the form and ask that specific information be placed in specific boxes on the form. The information we enter into the box is the data, the labelled boxes on the application form are the metadata. They describe what information is inside the box. Now the form is a simple example, because it's fairly simple and relatively static. But in the data world there is a lot of information about data elements that need to be capture. This is metadata. It is used to define and or interpret the data in the database.