Information Management: a consolidation of operations, analysis, and strategy


I have reviewed three (3) different books on database design so far. Today, I am looking at Information Management: a consolidation of operations, analysis, and strategy by Michael Middleton. The approach is to see database design in the context of information management.

The first problem is to define what information. Middleton uses a simple formula:

Data + ContextInformation (p. 39)

Fig 3.1 on p.39 shows a hierarchy of terms:

Representational Domain Events  
Representation and Codification
Symbols  
 
Data  
  Communication
Cognitive Domain Information  
Assimilation, comprehension to understanding relationships
Knowledge  
Evaluation, synthesis to understanding principles
Wisdom  

On p. 145, Middleton examines Data description. He is following Brackett’s methodology (Brackett 1994 and 1996):

Within the framework of what he calls a common data architecture, he has established a methodology of naming. (p. 146)

The Data naming (pp. 146-147) has five (5) aspects:

Data Subject Entities
Data Characteristic Attributes
Data Value  
Data Occurrence Instances
Data Repository “…specific location where data is stored.”

The standard naming taxomony would then be (p. 150):

Data site:Data subject.Data characteristic,Data characteristic variation

Middleton (p. 151) puts forward a three (3) level view of the data models:

  1. Internal data model (or machine-storage view)
  2. External data model (or various user views of the data)
  3. Conceptual data model (which reconciles the various user views)

What is more interesting is the Conceptual data models (p. 153). He divides the types of conceptual data models into three (3):

  1. Hierarchical and data modelling (pp. 154-155)
  2. A relational modelling approach (pp. 155-157)
  3. Object-oriented modelling (pp.157-159)

On the database design front, I find the book disappointing. At least, the book has given me a clearer view of the various terms used in information analysis.

Bibliography

Brackett, M.H. (1994), Data sharing using a common data architecture, Wiley, New York. (In Middleton 2002)

Brackett, M.H. (1996), The data warehouse challenge: Taming data chaos, Wiley, New York. (In Middleton 2002)

Middleton, Michael R. (2002), Information Management: a consolidation of operations, analysis, and strategy, Centre for Information Studies, Charles Sturt University, 2002.

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