Just as order entry has largely become the province of the end user, front-line business people may someday take on a greater role as data stewards. With widely deployed MDM, this may happen, and it may be monitored by BPM-oriented Business Process Execution Language-authored (BPEL-authored) business rules.
System integrator and consultant Dan Power suggests that more can be done to allow process hubs to enforce data standards. "We are seeing the evolution of hubs that use business rules engines and BPEL process management to simulate some of what a data steward would do in terms of [data] accuracy assessment," he says.
"Now, instead of disallowing people to enter new customers or products, user oriented front ends have evolved to the point where it is safe to let a business user enter a new entity into the hub," he says. "Then, you will either make it available right away or queue it up for review by a data steward before it goes into 'the wild.' Once everyone has the same application, it is easier to enforce business rules.
"This is what we call proactive data governance. Organizations are embracing the [data] hub more and making it more prominent in their architecture and more active receiver of their data," he says.
Developing these kinds of applications is still in its early stages. Power says the number of individuals with both workflow and data analysis skills are limited. But as MDM, BPM and related tools evolve, these kinds of data-checking capabilities could eventually be set up by the average power user, although Power says he expects that to be in a few years.
SOA and MDM: GIGO 2.0?A five part special report
Part 1: SOA with MDM prevents messaging confusion
Part 2: SOA and MDM: New techniques address old problems
Part 3: Data architecture project practices with SOA and MDM
Part 4: MDM brings SOA and BPM closer together
Part 5: With MDM and BPEL, business users become data stewards