Once upon a time in the Master Data Management World

Shamanth Shankar
Shamanth Shankar April 29, 2016

We were recently discussing about Raavan and converged into a geeky topic of how would we view Raavan from a Master data perspective, Not from a demonic, but from the perspective of his mythological depiction form with 10 heads. Let’s play along with the notion of 10 physical heads and not get into what each of those heads actually represent philosophically. I don’t mean disrespect to mythology or philosophy as I am an avid yoga practitioner myself.

Disclaimers aside, with just one head there is enough going on with acquiring, processing, storing, analyzing, deciding and acting, imagine doing that with 10 heads. Now if there were 10 bodies associated with 10 heads, we can say that there will be some action executed sooner or later. My head is spinning thinking of 10 heads doing all the heavy lifting from acquiring to deciding and only body to execute the decision. Do they arrive at one decision and how do they arrive at one?

I am left to think that senses attached to each head acquire data on their own, resulting in 10 data silos, each with their own version of truth. After all each one would perceive reality differently. The brain within each head would process and analyze based on what’s fed to it, it’s competency and intellectual horsepower. Now that each have their intel, question is how do they communicate to each other and decide on what to act on? Who among the 10 heads is the Master of all? Is there one source of truth which overrides what the other heads perceive? Or do they follow a more democratic process of open communication and collaboration?

Just because I love democracy, let’s say the 10 heads have a democratic process setup (read workflow) where they would start with comparing the data sets acquired by each of the senses. I would only assume that the process would involve a mechanism of matching and merging. A presiding data set for each event would be categorized by senses after that. This would be eventually used for decision making and execution. This loop would go on and on. I guess there wasn’t much Master Data speak in all that.

From another perspective the 10 heads on one body is like heads of different business units within an organization working with different instances or different applications to gather intel, analyze, decide and act. For all of them to be aligned in the direction of the enterprise, decisions and actions need to be communicated and coordinated. The data behind the decisions (from various sources), need to be managed, governed and analyzed for an aligned execution. Failing which “heads will roll” ;).

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