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|EXCELLENCE IN DATA ARCHITECTURE
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Business Event Analysis & Modeling (BEAM™)
BEAM™ for Decision Support Systems
Extended Relational Analysis (ERA™)
Structured Query Language (SQL)
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What is User Focused Data Architecture?
But wait – isn’t that “systems analysis”? Don’t we already do that?|
Well – we’re supposed to. But are the current methods working? Or are they contributing to that 65% failure rate? How does systems analysis, as currently practiced, work?
There are two things that mark most systems analysis techniques. One is process orientation – the analysis is focused on modeling (mimicking) the processes of the operation. This goes by many names, one of the more common being “business process modeling”. This is so pervasive that many analysts simply equate the two – systems analysis is process modeling. But process modeling has a few drawbacks:
This doesn’t disturb the analyst, for he thinks the model is being constructed for his benefit. However, it means the users can’t verify the model – they have to take the analyst’s word that their descriptions were well understood and represented. Given the complexity of most business situations, having the model represented in a form unverifiable by the most knowledgeable party is a recipe for miscommunication.
Thus, even though process modeling is presumed to be the de facto analytical standard, we have to ask, “how well is it working?” Being the standard in an industry with a 65% failure rate is no compliment. But what else is there? What alternatives exist to process modeling and its numerous abstract methodologies?
As it happens, there is an alternative. It is a theoretically sound, field proven, and woefully neglected. It’s called user-focused data architecture, and it’s been around for several decades.
Since 1989, JCK has been devoted to teaching and implementing the principles of User-Focused Data Architecture. UFDA is based on the principle that the users are the data experts in any organization. Sound data architecture should focus on extracting the user's knowledge, clarifying ambiguous defintions, and building understandable data structures. These definitions and structures serve as the basis for system development. The first and most well known UFDA technique is Extended Relational Analysis ™ (ERA), which has been proven for decades. More recent techniques include Business Event Analysis & Modeling ™ (BEAM), which is useful for both Transactional Systems (BEAM TSS) and Decision Support Systems (BEAM DSS).