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April 2, 2009

The REAL Single Source of Truth

SSOT - Single source of the truth
SVOT - Single version of the truth

If you are deeply embedded in the BI community, you may sometimes feel that we own the phrases single source of the truth (SSOT) and single version of the truth (SVOT).

In fact, when I was with Microsoft, I blogged about it a couple of times such as here.

With a push toward MDM as a solid process and software solution to data governance, more focus to SSOT & SVOT comes to the forefront in business intelligence and data warehousing when combined with MDM.

But in the ERP & CRM world, I run into customers and business stakeholders with no idea of MDM, BI or DW projects use these exact same terms. When I probe those business folks further, what they are really speaking about is having a single SYSTEM that their users can go to so that they may work more effectively and not have to swivel-chair to multiple systems to access the SAME information.

To me, the key difference is that in the data governance world, we are referring to a single master record for entities like customer, product, employee. Business users using this same jargon are really looking for a single SYSTEM to contain all of their business data and process.

Why is this important? Because the business (non-MDM) users perspective is NOT around a single source of data instance. In other words, taking the business users perspective at face value, wouldn't a single web portal with portels/web parts for CRM, PLM and SCM meet their base requirements?

But are they all using the same customer and product name? Are they separate databases without SOA connectors reconcilaed around the EXACT SAME product reference? Perhaps not. That may not be the same thing.

My opinion is that to meet the highest level of requirement for SSOT & SVOT, product mgrs, project mgrs and analysts need to push for systems that meet BOTH single data references AND a single system to access the reconciled master data.

Posted by Mark Kromer at April 2, 2009 10:45 AM

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