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Analysis

Data governance for the masses
Andy Hayler By: Andy Hayler, CEO, The Information Difference
Published: 6th October 2009
Copyright The Information Difference © 2009
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Kalido today announced the latest version of the Kalido Information Engine, with the main focus of the new release being improvements in the data governance capabilities of its master data management (MDM) component. Kalido's technology has long had the ability to support quite elaborate business rules and workflow e.g. allowing serial and parallel authorisations and elaborate time-variance, but has now added a new user interface for master data consumers (as distinct from data stewards). This takes advantage of Kalido's inherent business modelling focus to graphically represent the business model in the same manner as the Business Modeller, an intuitive modelling tool (which is free as a stand-alone tool) that Kalido brought to the market in January 2008. This allows MDM consumers to browse master data using the modelling interface, in addition to being able to search by keyword. Users can now browse through their master data using a mix of hierarchy browsing, modelling and keyword search. The idea is make it easier and more intuitive for customers to take ownership of their data, and involve less specialist staff than data stewards to be able to contribute directly to the process of improving data quality.

The data steward interface is also integrated with the elaborate data matching capabilities that Kalido gained when it licensed the Netrics matching engine some time ago. For example, if an apparently new customer account is added by a call centre worker, the matching software can detect likely matches to existing accounts and prevent incorrect duplication of accounts.

Additionally, the latest version substantially improves the volume of master data that Kalido can handle, via a combination of storage architecture changes and a dramatically faster data load and validation tool. Kalido claims that the product has been designed to support more than 500 million master data records. This was previously a limitation for Kalido, restricting it from being applied to certain use cases (e.g. those with very large single data dimensions, such as ones with tens of millions of customers), so this is a welcome improvement and brings them in line with the rest of the market. One beta customer is already using the new version in a live project with around 40 million master data records, for example. While this is hardly a giant implementation by today's standards, it at least shows that Kalido can now handle reasonably sized master data volumes, as well as merely very complex data, which is where it has previously been deployed.

Kalido has some quite powerful underlying capabilities which it does not surface as effectively as it might e.g. a graphical representation of its flexible workflow capabilities would be an obvious future development. However, this release both removes some significant data volume constraints and showcases a modern, intuitive user interface for browsing and accessing master data, a capability that is ever more important as companies try to empower their workforce to take ownership of data at source. Data governance needs to be capable of being deployed to the masses if it is to fulfil its potential, and so an attractive consumer interface is an important step on this path.

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