Malcolm would like to thank Fabio Corzo for his contribution to this article.
Trying to deal with enterprise information architecture is not easy. Most data practitioners have a hard enough time getting through one project at a time. Quite often they are working on several projects simultaneously as well as helping out with maintenance activities. Enterprise architecture is clearly bigger than any of this, but with so much busywork, it is difficult even to think about it. Furthermore, we are confronted with environments where the architecture is pretty much set, having evolved through the implementation of sets of legacy applications and the acquisition of vendor-supplied package solutions. Unfortunately, while none of this may be easy to deal with, architecture really does matter. It emerges as an issue in many endeavors, but it is especially important where data sharing or exchange happens. The past decade or so has seen an explosion in the implementation of business intelligence (BI), which can be viewed as extracting useful information from the data generated by the operational systems of an enterprise, possibly augmented by data brought in from outside.
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