4.3.1. The COI, its Participants and Processes:    (3X3B)

Data Context artifacts are generated by members of COIs, so the first step to be taken by an agency’s enterprise architect is to identify them. The Data Assets maintained or accessed by the federal government describe facts about    (3X3C)

Agencies, foreign governments, state and local governments, tribal governments, private sector organizations and individual persons differ as to what facts and relationships are of interest, but share some interests in common. It is therefore through the COIs that it is possible to meaningfully establish contexts in which data sharing should be supported. Therefore COIs may be organized around an LoB, a sub-part of the LoB or be cross-cutting across several LoBs. The data architect of an agency may well be aware of current COIs; over time some COIs may become less active and new ones may be created.    (3X3H)

For the DRM the role of the members of the COI is to agree on the form and content of the context data needed to meet shared mission business needs. A COI should be able to answer basic questions about the Data Assets that it manages, such as those shown earlier in Section 4.2.1. Being able to answer these questions enables governance over all the relevant artifacts.    (3X3I)

Having identified subject areas/ Topics and the entities of interest, the COI should determine the syntax and semantics of its own data. The principle is that it should be able to explain its data to its own community first. That means obtaining agreement on relevant terms, their organization and structures before trying to explain them to others. In many areas there are external organizations that have done related work and this work should be built upon wherever possible.    (3X3J)

The next step should be the designation of data sources within a COI. A data source is a Data Asset distinguished by the type of business rules that are used to ensure its data integrity. For any data there is a time when the data is first recorded in a government system. The government may be the original collector of the data, or it may acquire it from an external organization. As soon as the data is collected there is a quality control step associated with it. That step could be a data integrity check which might cause a data item to be rejected and therefore not retained. The step, however, might merely record the time and possibly other environmental variables surrounding the data acquisition process, or it could be more complex. The above description applies to base data, data that is recorded without further processing. Some base data is the input to other processes and the resulting data is of more interest. This data may become a separate Data Asset. Examples are    (3X3K)

In the end some organization or perhaps a federated set of organizations, within the COI maintains the system(s) with the data. This organization or federation becomes the data source in one of two senses. A “data source of record” is a Data Asset that satisfies the following business rule: the data contained within it is designated by the owning organization as having been generated by policy compliant business processes that ensures its integrity. A “data source of reference” is a Data Asset containing data that may replicate the data in a data source of record.    (3YPR)

On an ongoing basis the data within an organization undergoes transformations, such as changes and deletions or versioning; the same is true for Data Context artifacts. There should be a person who can determine if this activity as well as the initial creation is being performed in accordance to policy after properly following the correct procedures. That person is a Data Steward; there is a Data Steward for both data sources of record and of reference.    (3X3O)

For each COI once a data source and a Data Steward are identified a governance process can be put in place to ensure that there are Data Context artifacts to provision the services described in Chapter 5.    (3X3P)