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The Single Version of Truth by Fiat

The one version of truth is an elusive goal of many corporate data initiatives. Getting people from all over the enterprise to agree on a single definition of anything - be it attributes of Customer or of a Product - can be a daunting task.

Jeanne Ross, Director of MIT’s Center for Information Systems Research, has a simple solution she had presentede last month on TechTomorrow conference  - just declare it.

The Single Version of Truth by fiat can be a proverbial line in the sand, or, better yet, Archimedes’ fulcrum… but it certainly ends paralysis. Once the truth is declared the project can move forward with “good enough” set of data; instead of debating merits of this or that data sets, and bemoaning its imperfections the focus shifts towards “How can we make it better?”

The ultimate goal of the single version of truth is a business one - not IT, and should be treated as such. The “good enough” criteria should be set by the business, and any further cleansing and conformance processes should be also viewed in terms of business value.

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