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Data Structure and Compatibility

Data Structure and Compatibility

Data Governance and Data Compatibility is the exercise of authority and control (planning, monitoring, and enforcement when necessary) over data assets management. Data governance is the discipline of cataloging and defining important data, assigning ownership of data, and incorporating the administration of data into the everyday business process.

The governance of data includes the following aspects of data:

  • Data Architecture
  • Data Modeling
  • Data Storage and Security
  • Data Integration
  • Document Control
  • References Associated with Data
  • Business Intelligence
  • Meta Data
  • Data Quality

Data governance evolves with time as new systems and types of data are used by the organization. Therefore, the systematic introduction of data governance is often an evolution from informal rules to formal control.

Data Compatibility

Data Compatibility, in IT terms, means that data is integrated data throughout an organization, among organizations, and across industries. Data compatibility is so superior to traditional data integration methods that data compatibility is the inevitable replacement for data integration methods. Compatible data is integrated data. Information is automatically integrated from the time it’s initially stored, and it will remain integrated until it’s deleted. Any data from a compatible data system is combined with data from any other compatible data system. Unlike traditional data integration methods, there is no need to spend exorbitant amounts of money, time and effort moving and transforming data.

When data compatibility is in place an organization has unlimited opportunities for collaboration. These opportunities for collaboration exist both within and outside the organization.

Data compatibility is also associated with the idea of data evolvability. Systems need to be created so that data systems are easy to adapt to change. We all know that change is inevitable. For example, a change to an application’s features also requires a change to data that the application may store. Perhaps a new field or new record type needs to be captured, or possibly existing data needs to be presented in a new way.

There are server-side applications. These types of applications are sometimes easier to control. The organization can install and test the latest version. The organization can roll out the most recent version of the application to the entire organization when it has been thoroughly tested and approved.

This is not the case with client-side or user-based applications. The user may not install the update and can be confused and even baffled by the latest version. Training and help documents (even videos) can be used to support the rollout of the latest version of the application.

This issue with client-side applications means the old and new versions of the application and any associated data formats may coexist. This requires data compatibility for both the old and new systems to run smoothly and without errors. The new code must be able to read the data of the older version of the application. Conversely, the older version must be able to read the data produced by the newer version of the application.

Backward compatibility is often not difficult to achieve. Forward compatibility may require that the older application code continue running but ignore certain additions made by the newer version of the application.

“I never knew anybody . . . who found life simple. I think a life or a time looks simple when you leave out the details.”

Ursula K. Le Guin, The Birthday of the World and Other Stories

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