Other People’s data

by Sam T
In this peer reviewed journal, the author discusses about how every company bases some of it’s decisions on external data sources. There are so many data sources from publicly available web services, to sales data to government census data. There’s so much external data and the many ways to get it, it has to be treated differently than internal data. In order to accommodate every user’s data in a timely manner, there has to be a trade-off, where there are three, flexibility, quality and cost when it comes to data integration.

In the journal, the author describes “flexibility as to how easily you can purpose the data for the end users’ needs.”, Quality “is both a function of the
source of the data and the process by which it flows through the organization” and cost as the expenses to how well flexibility and quality are met for the users. There are different ways to incorporate data such as ETL (Extract-transform-load), in the core data warehouse, or BI (business intelligence), via reports. In the end, the authors conclude there is no correct layer to integrate external data into the enterprise flow. There are many factors to evaluate periodically. By choosing the right integration approach, it can provide users with answers in a timely manner with a good balance of flexibility, quality and cost.

I chose this article because we discussed about data warehouses for a couple of weeks and it really intrigued me to how companies got external data and how they used it. This article showed me what a problem integrating external data was as there is so much data out there. In order to make good use of external data, you have to sort it out to what the user needs, make sure the quality of the data is relevant and still keep the costs low as best you can.

Petschulat, S. (2010, January). Other People’s data. Communications of the ACM, http://0-web.ebscohost.com.opac.library.csupomona.edu/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid=b8ed2008-e60b-431b-9269-a72a891e5f14%40sessionmgr113&vid=5&hid=108

4 thoughts on “Other People’s data

  • December 2, 2012 at 12:32 am

    Data have grow so fast in the recent years and that people can have a business collecting and analyzing data. For small business, external data is a great advantage because they don’t have to spend so much time doing data mining, but for larger or corporate company, quality is really important so I think they would rather do their own data mining or like most big company doing nowadays, they bought the whole company. Great article.

  • December 2, 2012 at 11:45 am

    You said it, just about every company in todays world bases at least a few decisions off of external data. I know at the company I currently work at we base decisions off of the data we have about competitors pricing all of the time. I like the article because you talked a little bit about the trade offs and costs for using and collecting data. Nice post.

  • December 2, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    Good article choice! The trade off triangle(quality, flexibility, and cost) really captured my imagination because of how accurate this statement is for many industries. However, with the increases in technology the cost fact is becoming less of the problem, and people wanting bigger and fast databases and storage spaces is becoming more of the problem. Great post!

  • December 3, 2012 at 12:51 am

    I like how external data is tailored towards a win-win situation for businesses. As much as we want quality data, companies would want to profit from their services. In this typical scenario, people receive quality data when they want while companies attract larger sample populations and generate more data. These statistics of new data can be used for the company to make better customer service decisions and further enhance the quality of their future products and services.

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