Willy Wonka and the Data Factory

Over the weekend, my 5th grader and about 80 of his classmates performed a brilliant rendition of “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory”. Most know this as a childhood fable of a humble child given the opportunity of a lifetime by passing a series of character tests. Those failing the tests are prototypical examples of greed, avarice, sloth, etc- my guess is if they had tried to cover all seven deadly sins the movie would have been too long. Anyway, as Mike TeeVee was decomposed into a million bits by WonkaVision and sent over the airwaves to become the first kid transmitted by television, it struck me that this process has a direct correlation to how data is managed in the enterprise.

A stretch you say? Many of the issues surrounding data have to do with its lack of flexibility. Why is it so inflexible? Because it’s “identity” has already been determined by some application or author, including its structure. What if your data could be decomposed into a million little bits to be re-composed as you see fit?

That’s exactly what the Kalido Information Engine does. By storing fact data generically, we’re able to “decompose” data to its most granular level, maintaining its identity but stripping it of its structure. By doing this, we can now “re-compose” it any way we would like. In Kalido’s case, that’s done by virtue of our business model, which can be graphically represented by our modeling tool. The business model allows you as a business leader to define the view of the data the way you want it, not how your underlying systems demand.

Why is this important? Shouldn’t data be structured the right way the first time? Of course. But the fact remains that business strategies, product lines, organizations change faster than most of us would like. Changing the underlying systems every time would be cost prohibitive, and for the most part, the underlying business process

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