How to Collect Enterprise Architecture Data the Smart Way

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Graphic Illustrating Collecting and Filtering Data with ABACUS

Enterprise architecture is often an exercise in knowing what data you need to focus on in order to move as quickly as possible toward providing value for the business.

Taking a rigorous approach to data gathering and cleansing can play a big part in setting your EA team up for success.

James Bashford, Technical Architect at listed investment manager Man Group outlined four useful rules of thumb to guide architects in deciding which data they should focus on.

Being selective in data-gathering will help architects provide the quickest time to value and support business activities efficiently.

What NOT to do when collecting data for enterprise architecture
  • Try not to collect every field imaginable: you’ll be there for years
  • Try to avoid freeform text: because you won’t be able to use the data for high-level analysis or calculations. Step away from the detail and view the estate as a whole. Use drop-downs and pick-lists instead.
  • Don’t collect data you don’t have a use for: you always have to ask “why?”. If you don’t have a use for it, excess data can complicate and slow-down what you’re trying to do.
  • Don’t attempt to collect data that you have no source for: don’t try to collect – for instance – sentiment towards an application you have never gone through an exercise to survey about, it is likely to trip up what you’re trying to achieve.

Bashford also discussed how the enterprise architecture team at Man Group rates applications quickly for Risk, Confidentiality and Recovery Times (Availability), supported by algorithms in ABACUS. “It’s important to be able to do this at speed as an Enterprise Architecture and IT department without leaning on the business,” he said.

Bashford presented on “Streamlining Application Rating and Categorization with Algorithms” at Avolution’s Digital Enterprise Architecture Summit, held in November 2019.

More on collaborative data management in ABACUS.

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