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Despite my anorak tendencies I am not Dr Johnson and don't have time to create an entire dictionary from scratch. Many definitions here are therefore taken from the wise words of others. Where this is the case the source is gratefully acknowledged. If I have internalised your definition of something so completely that it appears here without atttribution, let me know and I will rectify the ommission.

Definitions do matter. The fields of data quality, IT and Direct Marketing are, as Brackett puts it, "lexically challenged". Failure to define terms and to use language precisely go hand in hand with woolly thinking and broken logic. The resulting combination of miscommunication and misapprehension dogs both theory and practice.

This is not helped by the hype merchants who invariably hijack any new idea and redefine it to put their own sales proposition squarely at its centre. CRM is possibly the most spectacular example of this, with some people unable to even agree on what the three letters themselves actually stand for. The unedifying bickering that goes on in various media about what CRM really means is the modern equivalent of debating how many angels can dance on the head of pin, only with less practical use.

A     B     C     D     E     F     G     H     I     J     K     L     M     N     O     P     Q     R     S     T     U     V     W     X     Y     Z


The world of IT is an alphabet soup of acronyms. Many business people claim this is purely designed to confuse and shut them out. While there may be some truth in this (see FUD), it should not be overlooked that acronyms themselves have a kind of heirarchy which can provide useful clues.

Three letter acronyms generally represent some high concept IT or mangement fashion. The truth is they are generally coined by the vendor/consultant community in the course of their attempts to sell IT in to a new part of the client organisation, or to talk up some technical advance as the successor to a previous IT bandwagon that is running out of steam. Thus EIS becomes DSS becomes BI.

Five letter acronyms are generally reserved for big, usually bespoke, software projects within organisations. When the project is completed, or at least stopped, the resulting system inherits the project name. Organisations everywhere are currently spending millions to get rid of legacy systems with names like QUEST, LASSY, TRACE and BONGO (I made the last one up).

The recent trend has been for projects to be given longer names (not acronyms as such) like Persephone or Hercules. Business people should think very carefully before becoming involved with projects of this sort. If the name is drawn from classical mythology run a mile. If it is also supposed to have been chosen because it has some meaning apposite to the project, such as "new dawn" or "bright future", run ten.
My personal preference would be for projects to be given native american names, in the style of "Dances with Wolves". Most american place names of this type turn out to mean "It's a hill, stupid" or "White man with bad haircut ask too many questons". In the same way, people could plug away at projects blissfully unaware that the project name means "pour gold down deep hole", "Run up the down-escalator" or "Mediocre consultants retirement fund".
An added benefit of native american names is that they would be unpronounceable and impossible to spell, which means people would not use them, which would be a blessing. Oh, and they would also be too long to print on mugs.

Application Service Provision.


Business Activity Management.

Balanced Scorecard
The eminently sensible idea that if the management and direction of your organisation is going to be based on measures of activity and performance, you had better measure all the things that are important to performance, and give them all appropriate levels of attention. Like so many ideas in business this is so obviously right that you wonder why it isn’t simply being done in all organisations already, and why people like Kaplan and Norton can sell so many books on it. The answer is of course that the actual doing of it, from choosing what to measure, to implementation of reliable measurement systems, is fiendishly difficult.

Business Intelligence. Using the word intelligence in the name of any function or discipline is a double edged sword. It ups the stakes in claiming to go way beyond mere information, but smacks of hubris. Just think of the old joke about the definition of an oxymoron being the phrase Military Intelligence. Personally I think BI is a useful and less clunky term than its predecessors, as long as you are careful to establish that you are defining intelligence in the sense of timely and relevant information, which then it fits perfectly into the information value chain concept.

Business Performance Management.

The quick and fundamentally uselesss way to build a Website - put up a load of pages which are largely unaltered copies of the corporate catalogue or brochure. Without any attempt to organise information for easy navigation, with no use of the opportunities to interact with customers and prospects, and either no attempt to offer e-commerce or one that is so simplistic it simply doesn't work, this kind of site is symptomatic of the bandwagon jumping days when the web first hit the headlines, and every marketing director or MD decreed "we must have a presence on the web" no matter how little they understood it. Pointless and annoying to the customer in equal measure, they are a source of great comfort to technology illiterate executives, who feel their organisation is now at the leading edge.
You would think that by now all such sites built in the early days would have been taken down, and that no-one these days would build such half baked efforts. You'd be wrong.

Business as usual
Highly dangerous term often used to label activity in the organisation that is not part of a large project or initiative. Perpetuates the ludicrous idea that the organisation outside of projects is static, and leads to all kinds of muddled thinking. In truth all organisational activity is in a constant state of evolution. In the context of information management, the bit that is not explicitly involved in delivering capability building projects must nonetheless be set up to cope with constant changes in information processes and provision to meet the constantly evolving needs of the business.


Customer Data Integration. Suddenly seems to be getting attention at senior level in organisations, and it is turning up in the conference schedules and magazine articles. This is a sure sign that a number of large vendors are pushing this as a new wave of innovation, on the back of which they can sell in new software and services. The fact that they favour the term CDI, which suggests a project, over CDM, which suggests a process, may have something may have to do with their enthusiasm to cash in on the work they have done to publicise this area before the board's attention wanders off elsewhere.

The degree to which there is genuinely new technology innovation in this area is questionable. Much of the functionality for cleaning and integrating data has been around for a long time.

No, not Cadbury's Dairy Milk(you're showing your age). Customer Data Management: a subset of master data management (MDM) that refers to the practice of synchronizing and standardizing customer data. Another angle on the age-old quest to achieve a Single Customer View.

Succes in this are ia only partially about technology. A recent survey from Boston-based analyst firm Aberdeen Group shows that above-average and average performers were twice as likely as below-average performers to use CDI and data quality tools (surprise). Leaders were nearly twice as likely to use a service-oriented architecture or Web services platform to facilitate data integration. The power of web services and SOA to integrate the scattered landscape of custome touchpoints and point solution marketing applications is noted in a number of recent updates to this site

Notably, none of the companies in the top tiers reported using enterprise MDM platforms. The message seems to be that Enterprise MDM is too big to tackle in one hit, while a focus on customer data can be turned rapidly to concrete competitive advantage

Clearly, effective CDM is not just about having integrated, clean customer data, (though that has to be the starting point) It is mainly about leveraging that data to increase revenue and profitability- in other words, driving the benefit of the data quality improvements right through the the Information Value Chain

Corporate Information Factory.

Consultants in specialist areas; data sourcing, data modelling, information quality, addresss management, information strategy and so on, can be worth their weight in gold. Which may be what they charge, but don't underestimate the value of years of experience. Experience is the name people give to their mistakes, and these chaps have made their mistakes using someone elses money. Paying them will help you avoid making the same costly mistakes with your money, and therefore is likely to pay for itself many times over.
Don't mix this up with the widespread suspicion of generalist management cosultants. When you need an expert get one. It will save you time, money and hours of stultifying boredom learning arcane details about dependent thoroughfares on PAF files or the detail of fuzzy matching algorithms.

Corporate Performance Management. Presumably there are those invloved in BI who feel undersold that their area does not have a full TLA, and that two letters is not enough. The result is the instantly forgettable CPM, which sounds far too like CRM for it’s own good. Like Knowledge Management, it goes too far in claiming that technology can deliver at the top end of the information value chain. Performance is ultimately down to people. CPM is a curious retrenchment on the concept of BI, as it focusses on monitoring and tuning performance, turning attention away from the big goals of insight and strategy formation. (also known as EPM).

Customer Relationship Management. Enough said, already.


Facts - such as addresses, transaction dates, quantities and values. The raw material from which Information is assembled.

"Data is individual raw facts. Since they are out of context, they have no meaning and are difficult to understand. Facts are numbers, characters, character strings, text, images, voice, video and any other form in which a fact may be presented."
Michael H Brackett

Data Council
A group of senior stakeholders who meet regularly to be the final arbiters on questions of strategy and policy affecting the organisation's data resource. They also lead the culture change effort that must underpin any move towards improving data quality. Every organisation that is serious about getting real value from their data resource should have one.

Data Mining
Incorrectly used by the ignorant as a catch all term for pretty much any kind of analysis work or for undirected poking about in the data in the hope of unearthing something useful. The proper technical term for the latter is "poking about in the data". This can in fact be quite useful if it is done by people who are capable of spotting anomalies which show up unexpected real world patterns of action. In order to achieve this the analyst or "poker about" needs both an intimate knowledge of the business and its processes and a sufficient understanding of how these normally manifest themselves in the data.

True data mining uses technical solutions to explore patterns in the data, using some of the following approaches: Association - looking for patterns where one event is connected to another event
Sequence or path analysis - looking for patterns where one event leads to another later event
Classification - looking for new patterns
Clustering - finding and visually documenting groups of facts not previously known

Data Quality (also DQ)
At its simplest level, validity, accuracy and completeness of data within a field. At a strategic level the organisations capabilities should never be constrained or compromised by bad or missing data.
To paraphrase Mark Twain, Data quality is what everybody wishes they had got, but nobody wants to work on getting.
In the real world quality is not absolute. See Fitness for Purpose

Data Resource
Data assembled from operational systems and external sources which is brought into repositories (databases) and made available for access through various information applications

Data Strategy
Explicit document laying out the the methods by which will the data resource will be managed, extended, enhanced, made available to the organisation, and how this will evolve to align with and underpin the overall strategic direction of the organisation. Without one there will be either no work on data or lots of unfocussed busy work chasing some illusory goal of "data quality". Either way the net benefit to the organisation will be next to zero.

Data Warehouse
"A single, complete, and consistent store of data obtained from a variety of sources and made available to end users in a way they can understand and use in a business context."  - Barry Devlin

Database Administrator.

Database Management System. The software which runs your database, be it Oracle, Sybase, Informix, Teradata, Microsoft Access or whatever. Leave the system choice to your techies - they know what they are doing and what they will have the skills and resource to support. Do get involved with the design of the database at the conceptual level. Learn to read an ERD. The shape of your database will dictate the future capabilities of your business.

Direct Marketing
The coining of this term is generally attributed to Lester Wunderman as far back as 1961 (On the 1st October according to the IDM).

" Any promotion activity which creates and exploits a direct relationship between you and your prospect or customer as an individual" - Drayton Bird

DSS – Decision Support systems
The term that replaced MIS (Management Information Systems) or EIS (Executive Information Systems). These in turn have largely been superceded by the slightly grandiose term Business Intelligence (BI).


Enterprise Application Integration. The difficult businesss of stitching together disparate point solutions. This is where data resource management and data governance, or the lack of it, really bites.

Enterprise Data Architecture, Enterprise Data Model.The concept of defining an overarching structure for data across the whole enterprise, within which that all new systems and applications can be developed. In concept this is in many ways the data equivalent to the technology based SOA.

Enterprise Information Integration. A range of technologies and methodologies geared at furnishing a near-realtime view of a given user's relevant data, whether it starts out in a supply chain management system, an ERP or CRM system, or a plain old database. (Source: TechTarget)

You can tell when a TLA hasn't really caught on, by the number of alternative terms sharing the same initials. So it is with Enterprise Information Management - or Enterprise Identity Mapping or Enterprise Instant Messaging.

Executive Information Systems. (Sometimes MIS - Management Information Systems) Archaic term for what later became known as DSS, Decision Support Systems, and is now generally referred to as BI (Business Intelligence)

Enterprise Performance Management. See CPM and BPM.

Entity Relationship Diagram. Essentially a picture of the things which can be represented by data in a database, and the relationship between them. The way you define those things and their relationships significantly prescribes what capabilities the database can deliver. If you are serious about the process of turning data into business value, at least learn to read an ERD and understand it's business implications

Enterprise Reource Planning. Basically the concept is one socking great system that runs everything in your organisation. SAP and Oracle are preeminent examples. Though they seem to work for some people, the installation of these monolithic, stalinist megasystems are capable of stopping an organisation in its tracks. A fraction of the investment in putting in place data governance, good data quality tools and rules and some well chosen specialist customer facing applications for marketing, customer management or lead tracking could net the business many times the ROI.

Extract Transform & Load. The process by which data is moved from one system to another; eg from a transactional system to a marketing database. Never forget that it consists of three steps.


Fax Preference Service. A blast from the past. One day I’ll have fun explaining to my grandchildren what a fax was. And a pager.

Fitness for purpose
In connection with data quality, the idea that standards should be set so that data will be good enough to allow business processes to operate, without over-engineering. An essential antidote to chasing the holy grail of some absolute standard of 100% quality. However, though it may be the right answer it is by no means an easy answer, as data may be used for many different purposes, some of them far downstream from its original point of capture. Fitness for purpose standards therefore need to be framed to support business processes that cut across traditional functional boundaries, and set at the level of highest common denominator. Organisations attempting to achieve this will need to consider having an explicit data strategy, a data council and a designated Information Management function

Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt. A technique of confusion marketing reputedly originated by IBM, and considered by many to have reached its zenith with Microsoft. In the relatively fast moving world of software development, the fear that a new and better product is just around the corner can paralyse decision making among clients. Sales of vendor A's product have on occasion been stopped in their tracks by the judicious announcement by Vendor B that their release of an even better product meeting the same needs is just around the corner. Sometimes the corner is much further off than promised, sometimes the product is no better or worse than the existing one. Sometimes the product is vapourware.


Archaic abreviation for Garbage In Garbage Out. The fact you don’t see it much these days does not make it any less true.


Hyper Text Mark-up Language


The International Association for Information and Data Quality. Slowly building towards critical mass. Already doing worthwhile work on a certification for data quality professionals. Join it not for what it is, but for what it will be. Especially if you get in there and contribute.

Information is a set of data in context that is relevant to one or more people at a point in time or for a period of time. It is data in context with respect to understanding what the facts mean. Information is data imbued with meaning, relevance and purpose. - Michael H Brackett

"Data + definition + presentation = Information" - Larry English

Information Engineering
The work of defining, summarising, aggregating, labelling and preparing raw data to turn it into information with relevance and purpose.

Information Management
1) The process of extracting value from the organisations data resource by defining, delivering, maintaining and exploiting information.
2) The function within the business which carries out that process.

Information Quality. The slightly jokey abbreviation coined by Larry English should not distract you from the importance of this - or the essential truth that the Data Quality many people are seeking is really only a first step.

Information Value Chain
The best summary I know of this key concept is in an article by Michael H Brackett, "The Business Intelligence Value Chain", first published in DM Review of March 1999. For a shorter summary click on this link:
Information Alchemy: The Information Value Chain


Java is a programming language expressly designed for use in the distributed environment of the Internet. The big deal to you is that it is platform independent (the same Java program runs on all hardware platforms without modification). Java programs can be called from Web pages or run stand alone. When launched from a Web page, the program is called a Java "applet." When a non Web-based Java program is run on a user's machine, it is a Java "application."


Knowledge Management

The mistaken idea that what is in peoples heads (knowledge) is fundamentally the same stuff as can be documented in words, pictures charts etc (information). This underestimates the unique and essential value-adding role of people, who make things happen by applying skills, experience, reason, intuition, passion, decision to information. You can’t bottle this stuff.

Key Performance Indicator. A top level measure which indicates the status of some key element of the organisation’s activity. Most useful in the context of the balanced scorecard, or dashboard.



Brook's Law:

Adding manpower to a late software project makes it later.

Biondi's Law:

If your project doesn't work, look for the part you didn't think was important.

Hofstadters Law:

Software projects always take longer than you expect, even if you take into account Hofstadters Law

Palmer's First Law of Business Intelligence:

"Time spent creating a report is inversely proportional to time spent analysing the resulting information."

This is doubly true if the person assembling the information is one and the same as the person doing the analysis. By the time you have spent half a day extracting assembling, deriving extra values and formatting a report you are so wearily familiar with the data that you can no longer see the information it could yield.

On a wider scale, the reports that soak up the most operational resource to create are invariably the ones that have the least impact on organisational activity ie the information does not lead to action. Most monthly management reports fall into this category.

Putt's Law:

Technology is dominated by two types of people: those who understand what they do not manage, and those who manage what they do not understand.


Management Consultancy

Why did the chicken cross the road?

Deregulation of the chicken's side of the road was threatening its dominant market position. The chicken was faced with significant challenges to create and develop the competencies required for the newly competitive market. Management Consulting, in a partnering relationship with the client, helped the chicken by rethinking its physical distribution strategy and implementation processes. Using the Poultry Interaction Model (PIM) helped the chicken use it's skills, methodologies, knowledge capital and experiences to align the chicken's people, processes and technology in support of it's overall strategy within a Program Managment framework. Managment Consulting convened a diverse cross-spectrum of road analyst and best chickens along with managment consultants with deep skills in the transportation industry to engage in a two-day itinerary of meetings in order to leverage their personal knowledge capital, both tacit and explicit, and to enable them to synergize with each other in order to achieve the implicit goals of delivering and successfully architecting and implementing an enterprise-wide value framework across the continuum of poultry cross-median processes. The meeting was held in a park-like setting, enabling and creating an impactful environment which was strategically based, industry-focused and built upon a consistent, clear and unified market message and alligned with the chicken's mission, vision and core values. This was conducive towards the creation of a total business integration solution. Managment Consulting helped the chicken change to become more successful.

Enough said.

Master Data Management (MDM)
New applications are appearing that are based on the idea that the business needs to be able to define both the terms and the inbuilt heirarchies in descriptive data dimensions that are used to classify the (structurally less volatile) dimensions of customer addresses and transactions. Whats more it needs to do this dynamically in one place, and then push these new definitions out to other systems. Which seems eminently sensible.

Data about data. The next big issue. Not sufficiently regarded now, this will become another gold rush area, benefiting vendors of products that can document, model and manage metadata. This will happen at the point of convergence between increasing concern about data quality, recognition of the need for an Enterprise Data Architecture, and the mainstream acceptance of SOA.

Mailing Preference Service.

Marketing Services Provider.

Mugs (and other project ephemera)
On every major project now, some PR type is charged with internal communications to "disseminate project values" and "ensure engagement". In their ceaseless striving to find novel ways of achieving this they have spawned a tide of mugs, mousemats, baseball caps, pen tubs, T-shirts, business card holders, sweatshirts, key-rings and so on. Sadly for those who have worked on a number of projects this stuff is not collectable, and has no market value. You will never see a full set of doodads from Project Ethelred on the antiques roadshow. The only exception might be where the project had some dimension of social history - say a huge project to computerise a whole area of government activity that went west and wasted vast sums of public money. Sadly this is so commonplace that there is little rarity value to be found here either.


Said "dot Net". A software development and execution environment designed by Microsoft as a direct competitor to Java. .NET's main weakness is that Microsoft have ignored the Unix and mainframe environments, effectively ruling .NET out of use in many enterprises.


Operational Data Store

One-to-one, 1-to-1
Marketing philosophy devised and promoted by Don Peppers and Martha Rogers. At its simplest, takes the direct marketing tendency of ever tighter targeting to its logical conclusion, the segment of one. Frequently shared a platform with CRM in the nineties. While CRM, a heavily vendor driven movement, became (in the end disastrously) associated with the technology, 1-to-1 retained a clear focus on the customer.


Postal Address Format. The post offices own standard for (effectively) every address in the UK. The PAF file is available through resellers, and forms an essential tool in managing addresses in the database.

Post Code
Direct marketers in the UK have long been thanking their lucky stars for the relative rigour of the post offices excellent system of postcodes. (If you don’t think postcodes are great you evidently haven’t had to try to get a handle on managing French addresses, or had customers in Eire)

The post code is divided into levels:

Area OX
District OX13
Sector OX13 6
Unit OX13 6AG


Quality Assurance (QA)
In developing products and services, quality assurance is any systematic process of checking to see whether a product or service being developed is meeting specified requirements. Many companies have a separate department devoted to quality assurance. A quality assurance system is said to increase customer confidence and a company's credibility, to improve work processes and efficiency, and to enable a company to better compete with others. Quality assurance was initially introduced in World War II when munitions were inspected and tested for defects after they were made. Today's quality assurance systems emphasize catching defects before they get into the final product.

QA is the term used to describe quality procedures while a product or service is in development. Once it is in production this tends to be refered to as Quality Control. Both QA and QC are essential to the information products engineered from an organisations data resource, and both tend to be woefully under-addressed.


Rapid Address Capture
A piece of software, usually integrated with customer service front end systems, that populates the full (PAF) address from only some elements (postcode and house number is the clasic combination).


Segmentation Methods
There are two principal methods of performing segmentation, differentiated by the extent to which the user of the method defines in advance the segments involved:

  • A priori segmentation, which defines, in advance,a framework that is based on known charateristics of customers or prospects.
  • Cluster segmentation, which ( in direct contrast to the a priori method) seeks to discover naturally ocurring clusters of customers that share common charateristics or behave in the same way.

    Source: Comhra

    Software that on first use turns out to be over complex, poor in functionality, bug filled or all three, and ends up sitting unused in some dusty corner of the office.

    Standard Industrial Classification. The United Kingdom 'Standard Industrial Classification' system was first introduced in 1948 as a Government initiative. Its aim was to build a system that grouped all like activities together in order to provide a uniform framework for the collection and analysis of data relating to the performance of the postwar economy. Today it provides the ability to give each company within the UK a code that identifies their business activity.

    SIC Codes are arranged in a very structured, hierarchical manner:
    The first digit designates a major Economic Division, such as Agriculture or Manufacturing.
    The second digit designates an Economic Major Group, such as Crop Production.
    The third digit designates an Industry Group, such as Grains or Fruits.
    The fourth digit fine tunes the hierarchical structure into a Specific Industry

    The SIC coding system was updated in 1958, 1968, 1980 and again in 1992 to take account of new industries. The 1992 update was an E.C directive, the first 4 digits of which are identical to the NACE (General Industry of Economic Activities within the European Communities) coding system. The system is also identical to the United Nations system ISIC at the two digit Divisional level.

    Every update has reflected the economy and boom industries of that particular era. The 1992 codes highlight the recent growth in the service, commercial and financial sectors, whereas the 1980 codes are stronger in the engineering and manufacturing industries.

    The next revision of the UK SIC is scheduled for 2007

    Click here for list

    There is also a US version.

    In 1999, the United States Government started to change the way they collected business statistics. Instead of gathering statistics based on traditional SIC Codes, they began to implement a new system, called the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS Codes).

    NAICS and SIC are similar in concept, but the newer NAICS codes always contain 6 digits, and cover a much wider variety of industries, technologies, products and services, than the older SIC code system. NAICS identifies hundreds of new, emerging, and advanced technology industries. And NAICS reorganizes industries into more meaningful sectors - especially in the service-producing segments of the economy. Unlike the system of SIC Codes which was used only in the United States, the NAICS was designed by a joint agreement between USA, Canada and Mexico.

    For more information on the relationship between national coding systems than you are ever likely to need: Click here

    Sales Force Automation.

    Service Oriented Architecture.


    Three Letter Acronym (Nerd irony)

    Telephone Preference Service.The place where people register their desire to avoid telemarketing calls. Now also relevant in business-to-business, in the form of the Corporate Telephone Preference Service. TPS screening is available from all good bureaux and data vendors.

    The T in ETL. The process of reengineering data to fit into a new data structure. Typically the biggest transformation for marketing data is moving from an architecture based around account numbers to one based around individual customers


    A four letter word. Avoid it wherever you can. If you are in the business of managing information and think of those to whom you are delivering information, as largely passive recipients or consumers stop and think again.

    The following definition from Larry English is long but quoted here in full as it completely turns inside out the mindset that the word user tends to engender

    "User; An unfortunate term used by many to refer to the role of people to information technology, computer systems or data. The term implies dependence on something, or one who has no choice, or one who is inactively involved in the use of something. The term is inappropriate to describe the role of information producers and knowledge workers who perform the work of the enterprise, and for whom information technology should enable them to transform their work, and for whom information is a necessay and vital resource. With respect to information technology, applications, and data, the role of business personnel is that of information producers and knowledge workers. The relationship of business personnel to information systems personnel is not as users, but as partners who together solve the information and work problems of the enterprise."

    As to the idea of information consumers, remember that information is the only asset in the organisation that can be used without being consumed.

    In fact it is information which consumes: "What information consumes is rather obvious: it consumes the attention of its recipients. Hence a wealth of information creates a poverty of attention, and a need to allocate that attention efficiently among the overabundance of information sources that might consume it. " (Herbert Simon)


    Software which at best is still in development, and at worst is no more than an interesting concept in the mind of someone at the vendor organisation. Vapourware is sometimes announced with great fanfare as a spoiling tactic to hurt sales of a competitors already launched product (see FUD). Sometimes a vendor is so enthusiastic that they will actually sell you vapourware and then catch up with creating the actual product on your time (and given the chance, at your premises and with your money).

    The really big vendors of ERP and CRM systems are particularly adept at selling products which are effectively the equivalent of a three wheeled car, and then charging the client for an army of consultants who come along to build and fit the fourth wheel.


    Another useful acronym from the hacker community. Stands for "Waste of Money Brains and Time".

    Generalised Mark-up Language.


    Yet Another Bloody Acronym.


    Zachman Framework
    A widely accepted framework designed by John Zachman to help organisations create an Enterprise Architecture - a holistic approach to developing and managing information systems that will obviate the need for constantly integrating disparate databases, applications and information processes.

    "The Enterprise must produce... models in order to deliver systems implementations in the short term, and at the same time for the long term, instantiate the Architecture process in order to ensure on-going coherence of system implementations and to build an Enterprise environment conducive to accommodating high rates of change." Zachman Institute for Framework Advancement
    "...an invaluable compendium of information on the most pressing challenge in business today"

    Sean Kelly
    data quality
    "At last! Something on data even an old Luddite like me can understand!"

    Drayton Bird
    data quality
    "...a really useful resource to understanding all issues relating to data management"

    Prof Derek Holder
    Institute of
    Direct Marketing
    data quality
    "...a down-to-earth, no-nonsense site designed to cover the new practices and theory of Information Management"

    Simon Lawrence
    Information Arts
    data quality