The term “slowly changing dimensions” is known from building data warehouses and attempting to make sense of data with business intelligence using reference data.
The fact that the world is changing all the time is also present when we look at Master Data Management and the essential hierarchy building taking place when structuring these data.
Company family trees are a common hierarchy structure in Master Data. One source of information about company family trees is the D&B Worldbase – a database operated by Dun & Bradstreet holding over 150 million business entities from all over the world.
I used to have Dun & Bradstreet as a customer. I don’t have that anymore – but I’m still working with the very same project. Because since I started this assignment US based Dun & Bradstreet handed over the operation in a range of European countries to the Swedish publishing group Bonnier. They later handed it over to Swedish company Bisnode. I started the project when I worked for Swedish consultancy group Sigma, continued in my Danish sole proprietorship and now serve Bisnode through German data quality tool vendor Omikron. Slowly changing relationships indeed.
As with many other activities in the realm of data quality establishing the “golden view”, “the single version of the truth” is only the beginning. If that “golden view” is not put into an ongoing maintenance the shiny gold will fade – slowly but steady.