Single Source of Truth

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Absolute Data Governance

The Brass Ring of enterprise Data Governance achievement is establishing a single instance of absolute information truth that spans all domains, systems, and human capital, regardless of affiliation. Creating a Single Source of Truth (SSOT), where every data element within a structured information model or digital schema is stored to exist only once, can be a daunting undertaking.  Despite the challenges, the benefits of SSOT far outweigh the journey to make it a reality. 

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SSOT Impedance

Achieving an ideal SSOT data governance “state” is often perceived as an impossible task for most organizations with common Enterprise Obstacles:

  • Lack of leadership vision, direction, and commitment
  • Multiple disparate information systems 
  • Distributed global directories and identity domains
  • Dirty data silos and invalidated repositories
  • No uniform controls, processes, or data definitions 
  • Omni-channel sources & data inputs      
  • Uncontrolled growth beyond scalable capacity 
  • Lack of cohesive best practices and data management
  • Complex Compliance and regulatory requirements

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Enterprise Islands

Complex, industry specific, enterprise applications like Allscripts, Microsoft, Oracle and SAP are autonomous data islands, maintaining their own separate instances of data truth. This distributed model results in different versions of common records being stored in replicated silos. Substituting these physical record instances with virtual record pointers is the real challenge of achieving SSOT.

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Data Reference

SSOT is achieved through architecture, application integration, and comprehensive substitution of physical data elements with virtual “pointers” or references utilizing relational data schema and federated databases. All locations of a specific data element are now referred to the primary "source of truth" site. SSOT architecture is the key to mitigating risk in the enterprise setting as incorrectly linked data elements (duplicate or de-normalized) pose a risk for retrieval of inaccurate information. When properly designed, any changes to the source data element are automatically propagated across the entire information domain without risk of duplication, corruption, or orphaning

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Identity Truth

Identity & Access Management represents a significant opportunity for enterprise SSOT, where data accuracy is imperative to validate identity against a single, trusted reference source. Duplicate representations of identity data within enterprise IS would be accomplished utilizing reference pointers rather than duplicate databases. SSOT ensures that data is authentic, relevant, and referable. 


If you have questions about your SSOT strategy please contact us 603-320-1110