DIY Corporate Data Model: Develop your own corporate data model – framework in 3 hours, using patterns

John Giles, Country Endeavours

In this fast-changing world, two demands are being made of us. Firstly, the business wants fast (read “Agile”) delivery timeframes. Secondly, they want today’s solutions to be well- architected so they don’t get thrown away tomorrow. There might appear to be a conflict to have the business demand fast and good, but in this world of executive accountability, you’d better deliver.

In many situations, the foundation for IT delivery is a robust and extensible corporate data model (CDM). And I mean one that can actually deliver business value, not one that costs a fortune but only sits on the shelf to be worshipped by passing data modelers.

Can a useful CDM be delivered in weeks, or even days or hours? By employing the proven data model patterns of David Hay, Len Silverston, and others, the resounding answer is, “Yes.” I’ve done it again and again, generating sufficient detail to remove roadblocks. This session will not only prove it is possible, but some of you will walk away with your own CDM foundation!

This session is going to be hands-on. Volunteers will be invited to offer their company as a real- life workshop exercise, and then the participants will collectively nominate which ones to tackle.
The lucky ones chosen will end up with a CDM framework plus some supplementary material to facilitate subsequently growing their foundation into a viable, light-weight (yet robust) CDM. The goal for the rest of the participants will be to walk away with the skills and confidence, and the same supplementary material, to be applied in their home base.

For any number of reasons, not all participants may be able to present their organization as candidates for team-based CDM development. However, for those who can, participants are asked to bring a list of their major data-related “pain points” to share. The reason is simple – any CDM data initiative should focus on where we can deliver tangible value.


John Giles is an independent consultant, with a passion for seeing ideas taken to fruition. For 3 decades his focus has been on data modeling and architecture, with a more recent interest in Data Vault modeling. He has worked in IT since the late 1960s, across many industries. He is a Fellow in the Australian Computer Society, and completed a Master’s degree at RMIT University, with a minor thesis comparing computational rules implementations using traditional and object-oriented platforms. He is the author of “The Nimble Elephant: Agile Delivery of Data Models Using a Pattern-based Approach”.

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