Image and Data Manager (IDM) is an online magazine with a focus on information management for Australia and New Zealand. Today they published an article: Virtual aggregation trumps data migration.

The article starts with a couple of poignant examples of failures in knowledge management infrastructures:

In the United States, federal intelligence bodies failed to “connect the dots” they had been compiling when Al Qaeda terrorist Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab attempted to blow up an airliner in late 2009.

In the United Kingdom, the cases of Khyra Ishaq and Baby P highlighted the all-too-common lack of early warning systems that could have saved the lives of young victims. Child protection services agencies possessed the information that could have protected Ishaq and Baby P but not the infrastructure necessary to alert them to potential problems.

The article argues that trying “to merge massive amounts of information from disparate data sources” has been a huge failure. The article continues with a good argument for staying with federated search:

With today’s heightened focus on risk, many CIOs are now recognising the outcomes that can be generated through federated search. The key premise being to avoid risky and costly data migration or physical aggregation exercises, and leave data in place. In today’s enterprise, data needs to live and breathe in different places.

The article is a fast and easy read and its arguments are worth serious consideration for those in the “federate or migrate” discussion.

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010 at 3:39 pm and is filed under viewpoints. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or TrackBack URI from your own site.

2 Responses so far to "Federated search vs. data migration"

  1. 1 Gregor Erbach
    June 25th, 2010 at 1:03 pm  

    Interesting article, although it is more about Federated Search on data than document collections. At the Noisy Channel blog, Daniel Tunkelang points out two interesting tools for collecting and cleansing data from web sources: Freebase Gridworks and Needlebase. I have not yet tested them, but they do look promising. http://thenoisychannel.com/2010/06/20/gridworks-and-needlebase/

  2. 2 Sol
    June 25th, 2010 at 1:39 pm  


    Cleansing data is a field I don’t know anything about so I appreciate your link to Daniel’s blog article.

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