I don’t know if it is a nod to the final days of the auto racing season, or just the latest in buzzwords, but the word ‘accelerator’ seems to be everywhere. Accelerator. I have to admit that the word does have some pizazz to it, but what does it mean and why do we need to think about it? It turns out that these ‘accelerators’ are actually any tool, template, or utility that can help speed the delivery of solutions. That sounds helpful, but what accelerators are available and how can they help us deliver data solutions?
I remembered a DFF (data-focused friend) mentioning that MIKE2.0 might help with architecting solutions. I am definitely a fan of anything that can help with that “blank page” syndrome – the paralyzing situation where you don’t yet have anything on paper and you just stare at the page and blink, hoping that your solution will materialize on the page (or screen, as the case may be). How could this help me? And who was this ‘Mike’? What did he know about delivering solutions? It sounded intriguing. After all, just the name “Mike” conjured up all kinds of positive memories…the talk show host from years ago, the athlete we wanted to “be like”, and even the child who likes eating a certain cereal. With all those warm memories fresh in mind, I just had to dive in and take a look.
MIKE2.0, an acronym for “Method for an Integrated Knowledge Environment”, declared itself to be “an open source methodology for Enterprise Information Management that provides a framework for information development.” (Note: I haven’t cracked the mystery on the “2.0” part) On the surface, it appeared to be a set of Wiki pages that described various aspects of Data Management. These were bundled into six main groups and ranged from strategy to implementation. The concepts would be familiar to data professionals and those acquainted with the Data Management Body of Knowledge (DMBOK), produced by the Data Management Association (DAMA) International. I had to ask myself: “If the concepts were similar, what made each one unique and how could each be used?” The key difference appeared to be a focus on the “how” versus the “what.”
If I think about what makes the DMBOK unique, it appears to focus on bringing Data Management professionals together to agree on concepts and definitions. To any profession, common vocabulary is essential. Between the DMBOK itself, and its accompanying dictionary, we have resources that assemble together a collection of data-related thoughts and expertise. In essence, this provides the “what” for Data Management – the key functions, terminology, and best practices. To help with the “how” aspect, we have to supplement with other sources.
The first “how” site I decided to explore was MIKE2.0. As I mentioned, the content is arranged into a set of Wiki pages (and enough of them that you could disappear for hours – maybe even days or weeks – in the content). I had to use the search box in order to find my favorite area (Master Data Management, of course!) and, truth be told, never did find out how to navigate to that area via the menus. Did I mention that there is a LOT of content? There were templates, and task lists, and diagrams (oh my!) – a variety of resources that could help accelerate anything from developing a strategy to planning business intelligence solutions. The content does tend to be fairly technical and requires a basic understanding of data management concepts.
I found several interesting items in the MDM section, including an example of resolving duplicates. Outside of the MDM content (yes, I managed to look outside my favorite topic), there were some interesting resources to help with project management. The task list could be an accelerator for setting up project plans and breaking large efforts into smaller, more manageable pieces. If you like to dive into details, I don’t think you will be disappointed (overwhelmed maybe, but not disappointed).
Check out Mike2.0 and share your thoughts below. And if you solve the “2.0” mystery, please let me know!
NOTE: All opinions in this blog are those of the author and not her employer. Mention of tools or technologies are not necessarily endorsements of those solutions.