I ran across:
How could a data governance framework possibly predict how you will assemble the puzzle pieces? Or how the puzzle pieces will fit together within your unique corporate culture? Or which of the many aspects of data governance will turn out to be the last (or even the first) piece of the puzzle to fall into place in your organization? And, of course, there is truly no last piece of the puzzle, since data governance is an ongoing program because the business world constantly gets jumbled up by change.
So, data governance frameworks are useful, but only if you realize that data governance frameworks are like jigsaw puzzles. (emphasis added)
in A Data Governance Framework Jigsaw Puzzle by Jim Harris.
I rather liked the comparison to a jigsaw puzzle and the argument that the last piece seems magical only because it is the last piece. You could jumble them up and some other piece would be the last piece.
The other part that I liked was the conclusion that “…the business world constantly gets jumbled up by change.”
Might want to read that again: “…the business world constantly gets jumbled up by change.”
I will boldly generalize that to: the world constantly gets jumbled by change.
Well, perhaps not such a bold statement as I think anyone old enough to be reading this blog realizes the world of today isn’t the world it was ten years ago. Or five years ago. Or in many cases one year ago.
I think that may explain some of my unease with ontologies that claim to have captured something fundamental rather than something fit for a particular use.
At one time an ontology based on earth, wind, fire and water would have been sufficient for most purposes. It isn’t necessary to claim more than fitness for use and in so doing, it leaves us the ready option to change should a new use come along. One that isn’t served by the old ontology.
Interchange is one use case and if you want to claim that Cyc or SUMO are appropriate for a particular case of interchange, that is a factual claim that can be evaluated. Or to claim that either one is sufficient for “reasoning” about a particular domain. Again, a factual question subject to evaluation.
But the world that produced both Cyc and SUMO isn’t the world of today. Both remain useful but the times they are a changing. Enough change and both ontologies and topic maps will need to change to suit your present needs.
Ontologies and topic maps are jigsaw puzzles with no final piece.