What’s in your Spend Management data model?

April 10th, 2013

Who’s managing your Naming Conventions?

Today’s post if by Ron Southard, CEO at SafeSourcing.

Someone said to me at some point in time that until at least you think that you know what you know; It’s not possible to even considering knowing what you don’t know. I’m sure the phrase has been represented in a number of different ways over the years.

The above is a really important thought to keep in mind if you are in the process of trying to identify what your spend management data model needs to look like.  Resultantly  turning the development of your data model over to  a DBA or Architect  that has no understanding of the procurement space,  processes or enabling data sources could  result in reporting that will break your  strategy before you event  get started.

Let’s take a look at a fairly simple example.

Any DBA even a low level one can speak at some level as to the construction of tables, rows and columns. With that said, they  probably are not  able to discuss their relationship with each other if they do not understand the procurement business, the categories being addressed or the supply base that supports the categories. This is where naming conventions can come into play early in the process and you need someone that knows what they are talking about. It’s pretty simple that across all vendors that an invoice is an invoice is an invoice. The data contained on the invoice like product or category identifiers or the lack thereof (pretty common) probably differs from vendor to vendor and will ultimately require normalization within your data model. However, at the end of the day an invoice is an invoice and the table that identifies them should be named such.  It sounds pretty simple, but there are many database implementations that do not return their perceived benefits due to simple issues of this nature.

The simple moral here is not to build a data base without the necessary governance from the business.

If you’d like to learn more about building your data model to support a more detailed understanding of your spend, please contact SafeSourcing.

We look forward to and appreciate your comments


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