Malcolm Chisholm


Malcolm Chisholm, Ph.D. has over 25 years of experience in enterprise information management and data management and has worked in a wide range of sectors. He specializes in setting up and developing enterprise information management units, master data management, and business rules. His experience includes the financial, manufacturing, government, and pharmaceutical industries. He is the author of How to Build a Business Rules Engine and Managing Reference Data in Enterprise Databases and Definition in Information Management. He writes numerous articles and is a frequent presenter on these topics at industry events. Chisholm runs the websites, and Chisholm is the winner of the 2011 DAMA International Achievement Award.

Recent Stories From this Author

End-User Computing: A Challenge for Data Governance Leadership
July 22, 2015 It's time for data governance to take a more proactive role while addressing end-user computing (EUC) in a holistic way.

7 Phases of A Data Life Cycle
July 9, 2015 What would happen if we could ride on a piece of data as it moved through the enterprise? What new experiences would the...

Why Data Governance and Procurement Must Partner
June 16, 2015 Ready to acquire, buy or rent data? First, make sure your data governance and procurement teams are on the same page.

TUTORIAL: Master Data Governance for Cloud/Social MDM/Big Data
June 7, 2015

Getting Data Governance and Legal to Work Together
February 12, 2015 In every enterprise, data governance should seek to build and maintain a lasting partnership with the legal department. Here's...

Beyond Governance in Finance: Why BCBS 239 Matters to You
September 9, 2014 Although written to address data governance in finance, there is a very good chance that BCBS 239 will break out into the rest...

Ontologies versus Data Models
August 12, 2014 Just what is the difference between ontologies and data models? If they are both about data, do they not boil down to the same...

Workshop 4: MDM and Data Governance for Big Data, Cloud and Social Media
July 1, 2014

Casework for Data Governance
June 25, 2014 As data becomes ever more central to business models, the diversity of service requests can be expected to grow. If a data...

The Policy Famine in Data Management
June 19, 2014 The average enterprise does not have nearly enough policies for data management, and this famine of policies has an enormous...

The SME’s Bill of Rights
June 4, 2014 While there is a good deal of literature about expertise management, there is not much about the ways in which business...

Data Stewards versus Subject Matter Experts and Data Managers
May 28, 2014 The role of a data steward is quite unclear in many enterprises. A large part of this lack of clarity seems to arise from...

Data Credibility: A New Dimension of Data Quality?
May 6, 2014 We must recognize the issue of data credibility as yet another dimension of data quality and take steps to address it

Workshop 4: Master Data Governance for Cloud/Social MDM/Big Data
July 25, 2013 The explosion of Big Data, particularly in the context of Cloud Computing and Social Media, has created a set of new...

Is IT an Agent of Mass Extinction?
March 20, 2013 Enterprise architecture that automated decades ago must deal with new requirements and manage existing complexity, or face...

Data Laboratory: Is It For You?
February 1, 2013 Real scientists do real science in laboratories, and I think that real data scientists will do the same in the future –...

Rethinking the Dimensions of Data Quality
January 22, 2013 When it comes to data accuracy and abstractions, each dimension is a complex area with its own logical structure, specific...

Are the Dimensions of Data Quality Real?
November 1, 2012 A serious problem is that there seems to be no common agreement on what the dimensions of data quality actually are

Two Datas
September 21, 2012 Big data vs. large-scale data: I believe there are real differences and that big data is unique in a way that will inspire...

Data Quality is Not Fitness for Use
August 16, 2012 The special problems of the relationships between data and what it is used for will require a different set of approaches and...

The Birth of the Global LEI System
August 9, 2012 Clarity has been lacking in how LEIs will be assigned and managed, but that’s beginning to change

Data Owner Driven Master Data Management - A New Paradigm
July 6, 2012 Who really owns customer data? We propose that, in reality, each customer owns it - not any one person in the enterprise

Data Management is Based on Philosophy, Not Science
May 1, 2012 If we use the term “data scientist,” we imply that there is “data science.” Data management, in turn, has...

Big Data and the Coming Conceptual Model Revolution
April 10, 2012 There seems to be a lot of agreement that conceptual modeling is needed in data management. There is also some disagreement...

The Celestial Emporium of Benevolent Knowledge
February 17, 2012 In classification we are not bound by the same rules as logical division

Production Data Monitoring and Metering
September 1, 2011 Data must be verified independently of the process-centric applications in which it is used

The True Role of MDM
July 1, 2011 The importance of master data is not just data values or quality, but the real-life concepts they represent

The Information Age and Nonmaterial Reality
May 1, 2011 To understand the Information Age, we have to separate the communications and entertainment part from the data management part

Data, Truth and Ethics
March 1, 2011 Do ethical considerations concerning truth matter in the data management profession?

The Corporate Axis of Evil
November 16, 2010 IT lives dangerously by not addressing the negative way in which it is viewed by the rest of the enterprise

Reflections on Coolness
May 1, 2010 There is something just too easy about bringing the ploy of coolness to market innovation

Real Definitions versus Nominal Definitions in Data Management
March 1, 2010 Concepts, rather than words, are important to data modelers

A Principles-Based Approach to Data Governance
November 1, 2009 Selling data governance has become more difficult just as the need has become accepted

The Dawn of Big Data
September 14, 2009 Are we on the cusp of a new paradigm that goes beyond what we can do with traditional data stores?

Entities or Collections?
May 19, 2009 Is a master data entity really an entity or is it something else?

All Data is Not Created Equal
March 20, 2009 Reference data, master data and event data have distinctions and must be managed differently

How Others See Us
February 11, 2009 Data modelers need to explain themselves and be intelligible

The Archives of Hype
October 29, 2008 A few terms from days past that once dazzled the IT industry but have since fizzled out

Will Data Content Managers Displace IT in MDM?
September 22, 2008 A specialized area called data content management seems to be set to take the leading role in master data management

The Database State
July 23, 2008 Technical issues tend, quite naturally, to be the focus of attention for data professionals, but those who call themselves...

Metadata is Master Data
June 19, 2008 Any discussion of metadata has to begin by defining what it is.

Resistance is Futile: IT and the Business are One
May 20, 2008 In the IT business there is increasing distress caused by the idea that a colony of aliens is not only lodged in their midst,...

The Level Zero Hero
April 14, 2008 The level 0 hero must continuously intervene to keep an application running, often creating an obstacle to enterprise-wide...

The Roach Motel Repository
March 6, 2008 Are we guilty of building processes, services and infrastructures that serve to trap knowledge that can never get out again?

This is a Title
February 20, 2008 Definitions of items of data really matter, but there are a couple of ways to see the value in them. One is when we focus on...

The Artist Formerly Known as Prince
January 17, 2008 Eventually, you see master data management (MDM) problems everywhere. A few years ago, I was turning off the Garden State...

The Sundial of Ahaz
January 3, 2008 It is strange to think that data sharing has been going on for a long time, but it is only now that it has become an issue of...

The Twin Towers of BI Babel
November 30, 2007 Architecture really does matter in information management. It emerges as an issue in many endeavors, but it is especially...

Wiki, Waki, Woozi
October 29, 2007 The problem with emerging technologies, concepts and methodologies is figuring out how much they can deliver versus the level...

Data Models are Not Database Design
October 1, 2007 Examine the assumption that a data model can capture all the information about the design of a database.

The Logical/Physical Challenge in Data Management
September 1, 2007

There is No Single Version of the Truth
December 1, 2006 Context needs to be included as part of the conceptual framework within which data is administered. It is time to move away...

Is Data Modeling Sufficient for Database Design?
October 24, 2006 Hidden subtypes represent a valid and very important layer of database design that is missing from today's data models but...

Master Data versus Reference Data
April 1, 2006 While it is important to understand the differences between reference and master data, we must still think carefully about...

Master Data Management in Practice: The Problem of Identity
February 1, 2006 Master data represents the parties to the transactions that record the operations of an enterprise. When an organization...

Controlling Rule Redundancy
January 27, 2005

XML and Business Rules – A Lost Opportunity?
December 22, 2004

Rethinking Rule Taxonomies
November 25, 2004

How Useful are Business Rule Statements?
October 21, 2004

Changing the Rules
September 23, 2004

Gaming the System
August 26, 2004

Meta Data and Business Rules
August 5, 2004

Do Business Rules Fit the Systems Development Life Cycle?
June 23, 2004

In Praise of Procedure
May 27, 2004

Forever One: Business Rules and Reference Data
April 22, 2004

Normalizing Reference Data
April 1, 2004 A strong case can be made that reference data needs to be normalized in its own special way if a database is to provide the...

Business Rules and Black Boxes
February 26, 2004

The Normalized Foundation of Business Rules
January 30, 2004

The Case for Business Rules
January 2, 2004

Using BI for Risk Management
August 1, 2003 A goal/question/metrics approach, or any other methodology used to implement risk management, will result in the...

Mastering Product Data
August 27, 2002 Enterprises that do not correctly recognize their product data are unlikely to get their information systems to accurately...

The 6 Layers of Data
September 1, 2001

Avoiding a Data Management Identity Crisis
June 8, 2001 Identifying and classifying data will become even more important as administrators deal with more complex forms of business...

Is the Meta Data Repository Dead?
May 1, 2001 This article suggests that the meta data that can pertain to any database is potentially unknowable and infinite and that...

A New Understanding of Reference Data
October 1, 2000 In the world of data management, reference data remains largely unexplored terrain. This article explains the need to manage...

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