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Information-Driven Business: How to Manage Data and Information for Maximum Advantage by Robert Hillard

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Chapter 11. Layered View of Information

Despite the arguments about the best technical architecture to provide information to the business, almost every organization has a number of things in common. First, most have a management structure split into nonexecutive supervisors (usually a board), an executive team, and an army of middle managers. Second, they have an enormous appetite for complex data at every level. Finally, in every industry sector, there is terminology that defines activity and success.

Consider the two extremes of business.

At the top of the management tree are a group of executives. Each has a short tenure, often less than two years. During that time, they need to streamline the information they have to achieve an agenda or incorporate change.

At the bottom or foundation of the enterprise are the operational processes, systems, and people who make the business run. These processes and systems are rich in raw data. Data is highly denormalized; that is, there are many duplications of content and little integration across business processes.

Between these two extremes sits an army of middle managers who spend vast amounts of time responding to the executive requests for information by mapping the operational data into metrics.

Every enterprise, and in particular every leader, has a preferred strategy for tackling the challenges that the market, stakeholders, or the sector creates. This strategy needs to be measured in terms that a board or executive leadership can understand ...

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