Not Your Usual Business Rules for Data Quality

Business Rules for Data QualityEvery business rule is a mission statement in miniature. Every good rule says something meaningful about your organization – where you are today, what direction you’re headed, where you want to be. But how do you define your rules? How do you work out their logic, agree on their conditions for success? Most importantly, how do you apply them to your data, so that you can get meaningful and measurable business outcomes in return?

You partner with IT along the way – you, or someone on your team, spends time with an application developer who translates your rules into objects to run on your data. And if it takes time, and cross-team effort, and if each rule passes through a few iterations to iron out the creases, well, that’s the price of getting things right, isn’t it?

Take that effort and multiply it by every rule you can think of.

But thankfully, there is a better way.

You can log in to a web application and quickly sketch a business rule, modeling inputs and conditions on-the-fly in a simple canvas.

That on-the-fly model is directly available in your data system, ready there and then to connect to your data.

With this approach, how much time could you save your business? How much closer to the truth about your data and your business could you get, if your understanding of the business issues could run directly on the data without translation in the IT layer?

Informatica Rule BuilderI’m proud to share that this is what Informatica delivers today, with Informatica Rule Builder. Here’s how it works.

Log in online, from anywhere. Nothing to download or upload. Conceptualize, create, and save your business rules to the data system in a single activity – no IT expertise required. The business rule you create, we call that a rule specification. It’s ready to connect to any data source in your system. All you need is a login name on the Informatica Analyst web application.

Once you’re in the Analyst tool, you open the rule specification canvas, and you tell the tool how many inputs you think you need. (You don’t need to be exact – Informatica Rule Builder ignores any inputs it doesn’t use.) Then you configure the data tasks that you want the rule to perform.

You want to verify that a data column is free of nulls? There’s a drop-down for that. You want to verify that the balances in an account column are all in credit? There’s a drop-down for that. You can add as many inputs and as many conditions as you need. You can link them, connect them in parent-child relationships – you can even explore other rules in the Analyst tool library and embed them in your rule.

What’s more, you’re not limited to data analysis with rule specifications. Let’s say you’re concerned that your address records comply with the postal carrier standards in different regions. You’ll get a discount if they do. What if the business rules that analyze the address records could fix compliance issues in them too?

Rule specifications can do that. (And this is before you even begin with Informatica’s world-class address verification Data as a Service solutions. Yes, you can fold those into a rule specification too. Rule specifications integrate with the full range of objects that you can create and use on the Informatica Intelligent Data Platform.)

Rule specifications can be as simple or as complex as you need. They can examine one data input or many. You can build a rule specification to reach a single decision about a data record, or you can map a data flow from end to end. You decide the right size for your rules.

When you define the right rules, you help to create a holistic view of your organization and its progress toward its goals. Taken together, the right rules represent everything that you do to define and pursue the organization’s mission. Informatica Rule Builder makes it easier to design an intelligent and integrated set of business rules that measure and improve data metrics across your project, your group, and the organization.

Rule specifications make life easier for the data-driven enterprise. For more information, click here.