Willy Wonka and the Data Factory

Does Charlie Bucket have the answer to better quality data?

Bill Hewitt

Over the weekend, my 5th grader and about 80 of his classmates performed a brilliant rendition of “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory”. Most know this as a childhood fable of a humble child given the opportunity of a lifetime by passing a series of character tests. Those failing the tests are prototypical examples of greed, avarice, sloth, etc- my guess is if they had tried to cover all seven deadly sins the movie would have been too long. Anyway, as Mike TeeVee was decomposed into a million bits by WonkaVision and sent over the airwaves to become the first kid transmitted by television, it struck me that this process has a direct correlation to how data is managed in the enterprise.

A stretch you say? Many of the issues surrounding data have to do with its lack of flexibility. Why is it so inflexible? Because it’s “identity” has already been determined by some application or author, including its structure. What if your data could be decomposed into a million little bits to be re-composed as you see fit?

That’s exactly what the Kalido Information Engine does. By storing fact data generically, we’re able to “decompose” data to its most granular level, maintaining its identity but stripping it of its structure. By doing this, we can now “re-compose” it any way we would like. In Kalido’s case, that’s done by virtue of our business model, which can be graphically represented by our modeling tool. The business model allows you as a business leader to define the view of the data the way you want it, not how your underlying systems demand.

Why is this important? Shouldn’t data be structured the right way the first time? Of course. But the fact remains that business strategies, product lines, organizations change faster than most of us would like. Changing the underlying systems every time would be cost prohibitive, and for the most part, the underlying business process does not need to change. How you execute a payroll change, for example, does not change frequently, nor does taking a customer order. But the market may demand that you look at product by brand and geography and by sales territory, or by product profitability by territory. Ultimately, you as the business owner need to have the power to decide how the data serves you.

Is there a place for a big data store in the sky that doesn’t change frequently? Absolutely. The “Enterprise Data Warehouse” should be the central repository of transaction or “fact” data that does not change often. This is the source to drive operational reporting and large scale analytics – against where complex data relationships are not required. In fact, the EDW should be a primary source of data for the Kalido Information Engine. This engine provides the flexible layer that moves at the speed of business, while allowing IT to optimize the EDW for day to day use. The Engine is also an excellent platform for analytics because the model can be as sophisticated or as simple as you’d like; and with our direct integration with QlikView, you can serve up dashboards of information to business users at light speed.

We’re often asked, “Can the Information Engine satisfy all our needs?” Yes, of course; any technology can be stretched and extended to solve virtually any problem. But the Kalido Information Engine does one thing particularly well; its model-driven approach enables you to deliver value faster than traditional methods and ultimately, the lowest TCO in the business. The Kalido Information Engine can be your “Golden Ticket” to delivering high quality data at the speed of business.

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