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EA Principles for Data/Information

The EA Domain Team for Data/Information is built upon five EA Conceptual Principles and five EA Principles for Data/Information:

  1. Relational Database Management Systems
  2. Standard Data Elements
  3. Backup and Recovery
  4. Data Warehousing
  5. Customer Database

1. Relational Database Management Systems

A limited number of Relational Database Management Systems (RDBMS) will be the standard across the enterprise for new development.

Benefits:

  • Industry standard
  • Reduces data redundancy
  • Efficient access and storage of data
  • SQL is relatively easy to learn, allowing users to quickly perform queries
  • Provides a simple way of looking at structured data
  • Ability to take advantage of multiple hardware platform architectures
  • Structure changes may be accomplished without affecting entire application
  • Promotes data integrity and enforce business rules through the use of constraints
  • Promotes statewide data sharing
  • Standardization will reduce technical support
  • Reduce total cost of ownership

Implications:

  • Promote migration to RDBMS
  • May imply increased overhead to interface with existing non-RDBMS system
  • Agency's adding or migrating to RDBMS may incur significant allocations of resources
  • Agencies will be encouraged to use supported RDBMS's

Counterarguments:

  • Business Partners may dictate non-standard database management systems
  • Non-standard legacy database systems require support
  • One size doesn't fit all

2. Standard Data Elements

The use of standard data elements of universal fields will be used across the Enterprise for new development and system enhancements.

Benefits:

  • Allows for the sharing of information between agencies and other entities
  • Data migrations/conversions are minimized
  • Promotes the ability to enable data warehousing

Implications:

  • Implies an agreement to conform
  • A data dictionary must be developed, maintained and provided to all agencies
  • Non-standard or agency specific data elements must be addressed
  • ANSI D20(American National Standard Institute Dictionary 20) standards should be utilized wherever possible for compliance with Federal programs(Example: SSN, Name, Address, Zip-codes, Dates, E-Mail Address, Foreign Address and Zip Codes, Phone number's)
  • Need to consider requirements of US Postal Service for address standardization

Counterarguments:

  • Converting current applications to new standards will require both staff and fiscal resources
  • Interfaces with existing non-standard applications will be required

3. Backup and Recovery

Database systems will address appropriate backup, recovery and maintenance procedures to ensure business continuity.

Benefits:

  • Ability to restore data with minimal impact to production
  • Minimize risk of permanent data loss
  • Database system continues to run efficiently

Implications:

  • Appropriate backups procedures have to be in place
  • Database systems may have to employ fault tolerant solutions such as failover, clustering and raid technologies
  • Consideration needs to be given to determine the acceptable system down-time and acceptable data loss
  • Resources must be allocated to implementation, automation, and testing backup and restore procedures

Counterarguments:

  • Backup and recovery procedures may require more resources than recreation of the database

4. Data Warehousing

Develop a statewide data warehouse to provide analytical functions.

Benefits:

  • Analysis systems will not interfere or degrade performance of the operational systems
  • Statistical data could be made readily available to the general public
  • Provides for consolidation of data
  • Reduces complexity
  • Long term commitment for clean data

Implications:

  • Dedicated personnel will be required for research of what data needs to be in a warehouse and setting standards
  • Implementation of a data warehouse will require a sizable resource commitment
  • Education of the benefits of data warehousing will be required for agency buy in

Counterarguments:

  • Agencies may not be able or willing to share data
  • Resources necessary for building a data warehouse may outweigh the benefits
  • Statistical data may be misinterpreted

5. Customer Database

Develop a statewide customer database.

Benefits:

  • Would eliminate the need for the multitude of name and address files currently in use
  • Provides a means of keeping name and address information current for all agencies
  • Databases could be run through address standardization software for possible postal discounts
  • Customers need to send only one notification for demographic changes
  • Allow for a history of demographic changes

Implications:

  • May require legislation to mandate legal name be required by all agencies
  • Develop procedures to identify data ownership and maintenance responsibilities
  • Define data attributes that need to be included in the database
  • Define security and privacy policies
  • System modifications would be required to send and receive the information securely across the enterprise
  • Procedures need to be developed so individuals only modify their information
  • Name changes could not be allowed without legal documents and agency notification

Counterarguments:

  • The security, legal and maintenance issues surrounding an enterprise wide name and address database outweigh the benefits
  • May make it easier for identity theft
  • This may not be a true enterprise wide database because Federal and State laws may limit participation

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