What's up with the master data music metaphor????

January 25, 2018

 Music provides us great metaphors explaining “Why documenting the standards that run your business is critical”.



In a symphony, the conductor knows what everyone is supposed to be doing at any point. Whether it’s the 3rd violin, the 1st trumpet, or the soloist, he can manage these moving parts because he has well-defined standards for how the music is to be performed in the form of a conductor’s score.

The score for a symphony defines every part, every rhythm, and every note as well as how they should be performed. In a high school band, it is used more just for the process. “How can we get through this and end up finishing together?” In a mature professional orchestra, it is far more strategy than process. All the process is there but the reasons are more apparent and the super organized, professional results prove it. Yes, there are degrees of freedom for some solo parts, but they are all working in absolute harmony.


Your data standards need to do the same for your Master Data.



Like a complex Symphony, your business data requires a clear vision for quality and stability based on Standards. Like an Orchestra, your data team needs to know not only what is required, but also understand how their data impacts, and is impacted by, all other data globally.

It is not enough to simply document the technical metadata; you need a repository to manage the decision-making process over long periods of time and over many separate projects. Your Data Dictionary / Rules Repository / Data Encyclopedia needs to document historic decisions as well as to guide future decision making relative to how to use existing fields in order to aid in adaptation to future business or technical needs.


Your Master Data by definition touches everything. That means that without some super mastermind data steward who is accessible to everyone 24/7/365 for the rest of your company’s life, you need to document your standards including the WHY things are done in a certain way, and how that supports the strategy and who has the authority to change that and so forth. 

If Vivaldi had not fully documented “the Four Seasons” in 1723, or Beethoven his 5th Symphony in 1808, then we would not be able to enjoy hearing and musicians would not be challenged by this suite today.

RuleBase aids you in creating your “score” for your Master Data so your data can perform today and in the future.

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