Sunday, December 16, 2007

Data Governance or Magic

Today, I wanted to report on what I have discovered - an extremely large data governance project. The project is shrouded in secrecy, but bits and pieces have come out that point to the largest data governance project in the world. I hesitate to give you the details. This quasi-governmental, cross-secular organization is one of the foundational organizations or our society. Having said that, not everyone recognizes it as an authority.

Some statistics: the database contains over 40 million names in the US alone. In Canada, Mexico, South America, and many countries in Europe, the names and addresses of up to 15% percent of the population is stored in this data warehouse. Along with geospatial information, used to optimize product delivery, there’s a huge amount of transactional data. Customers in the data warehouse are served for up to 12 years, when the trends show that most customers move on and eventually pass their memberships on to their children. Because of the nature of their work, there is sleep pattern information on each individual, as well as a transaction when they do something “nice” for society, or whether they pursue more “naughty” actions. For example, when the individual exhibits emotional outbursts, such as pouting or crying, this kicks off a series of events that affect a massive manufacturing facility and supply chain, staffed by thousands of specialty workers who adjust as the clients’ disposition reports come into the system. Many of the clients are simply delivered coal, but other customers receive the toy, game, new sled, of their dreams. Complicating matters even more, the supply chain must deliver all products on a single day each year, December 25th.

I am of course talking about the implementation managed by Kris Kringle at the North Pole. I tried to find out more about the people, processes and products in place, but apparently there is a custom application in place. According to Mr. Kringle, “Our elves use ‘magic’ to understand our customers and manage our supply chain, so there is no need for Teradata, SAP, Oracle, Trillium Software any other enterprise application in this case. Our magic solution has served us well for many years, and we plan to continue with this strategy for years to come.” If only we could productize some of that Christmas magic.

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