5 steps for better data quality (especially in CMDB)

Find it difficult to get started with CMDB data improvements? Too much or too hard to handle?

Or have you ever heard about CMDB that is worth nothing because it’s outdated? Or a CMDB that was put in a really good  shape during the “CMDB project”, but it got outdated the next month? We have!

We are facing similar situations often and in all cases the reason for CMDB being outdated (or too difficult to get done in the first place) is in poor data management process. In this article we introduce couple of simple steps which will guarantee that your CMDB delivers the value it should.

Start from the most important, secure ownership and take small steps from there to get people involved.

Data Content Manager will help you define and audit your service data with easy-to-use graphical data models and precise deviation reporting.

Here are the 5 steps in brief, contact us for more information.

    1. Select the most important data domain or area to focus on
    2. Define ownership for the domain
    1. Define how record level owner can be recorded and found
    2. Create blueprint to cover required ownership data
    3. Audit and remediate owner data
    1. Define minimum viable data model
    2. Audit data against data model
    3. Use owner information for remediation task assignment
    1. Define target data model for the domain
    2. Audit and remediate
    1. Refine target model
    2. Repeat
    3. Expand to next data domain

Step 1 – Select domain

  1. Identify different data areas / domains related to service management
  2. Select the most important domain
  3. Define who is the owner for the whole domain (from an information architecture point of view)
  4. Select most import data class as the root class for your blueprint

Note: “Most important” may vary between organizations and perspectives. Importance may be impacted by data criticality, volumes, current quality, required effort and people’s availability for example.

Step 2 – Secure ownership

  1. Define how to find responsible person or owner for the data
  2. Define minimum relationships to other CI Classes as options
  3. Create scheduled audit for blueprint
  4. Check results and point out corrective tasks to “domain owner”, if mandatory data missing

Target: Make sure that every record in the selected domain/class has ownerships defined. Ownership can be later used to assign remediation tasks.

Step 3 – Minimum Viable Data

  1. Leave the previous blueprint as is for continuously verifying that ownership is in place.
  2. Expand the previous blueprint to include other minimum data related to applications.
  3. Create scheduled audit for the new blueprint
  4. Check the results and point out corrective tasks to applications Managers (= owners of the data)

For example, make connection to Business Service mandatory and/or add another link to Server infrastructure. This should apply to all root records based on the filter condition defined for applications.

Target: Data owners now have the responsibility to fill in the minimum information and relationships for their CIs.

Step 4 – Target data model

  1. Leave the previous blueprints and audits running
  2. Create another blueprint with more details and requirements
  3. Create scheduled audit for the new blueprint
  4. Use the audit results to evaluate readiness for the next phase

Target: Identify target model for the future and follow progress on how to get there.


Step 5 – Refine and repeat

  1. Create new version(s) of the Target Model

  2. As previously defined data and relationships are in place, more requirements can be considered as part of data modelling and audit.

  3. This is an iterative step that will continue forever

  4. Along with this step, one can and should also expand to other data domains.

Target: Make sure that previously achieved data compliance is maintained while constantly evaluating and redefining the target data model.

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