Friday, June 11, 2004

On the Importance of Data Modeling

An interesting post on data modeling by a Sun Microsystem employee named Kristen.

If I had a nickel for everytime some Web publishing manager told me their job requires them to copy and paste content between various Web sites... Well, let's just say, I could buy a lot more stock. :)

I hear about this from friends who work on sites across the industry -- there's lots of mindless manual repurposing of content going on out there. This is a problem on sooo many levels on sooo many sites... not only is it expensive, and time consuming, but it even affects usability of web sites since all that manually repasted data is pretty much trapped in its own little silo never to be used again.

Case in point: I was in a web technology User Committee meeting the other day and the subject came up that we're using two (or three or more?) different tools to create and manage a certain type of product content, with each destination site pretty much storing its own copy of the content.
We're copying and pasting, or building perl scripts to do our data mining. What we really want to do is write it once and reuse it.

A well-respected colleague, Martin Hardee, responded "You know, it really all comes down to data models, right?"

My mind jumped in gear... Maybe these blogs are my chance to make metadata evangelists and data modeling believers out of everyone! (ok, maybe a few, if they start reading!) I know every company has this same challenge. Now thanks to Will and others, we now have a cool place to talk about it.


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