TxM 011 Section 1.9 Why Taxonomy coding is important Created by James on 6/26/2013 5:04:40 PM
The following are the major reasons why it is important to code taxonomies:
1. Coded taxonomies are essential
Coded taxonomies are central to and essential to the effective operation of business information systems.
2. Every validation list
Every validation list, drop down list, category list, group list, class list, classification list, etc – any list that contains logic that reflects the reality of the business or affects the way the software operates should be carefully coded in accordance with all the conventions of the SEPT approach.
This includes the Chart of Accounts and all complex logistical code tables such as the Materials Group in SAP, the Item Class, the Product Class, etc.
3. Computers only understand binary (0's and 1's)
In understanding why computer systems need codes it is vital to understand that computers only manipulate binary data (0's and 1's) and binary data is presented logically as ASCII data with 256 possible text values.
All apparent intelligence in a computer system working with data relies on what the computer does with the patterns of characters in its data.
SEPT involves the careful design of English or other language semantic (language) structures and then the careful alignment of these logical language structures with hierarchical codes using various coding conventions including trailing periods for headings, mnemonic codes, alpha codes, numeric codes, alpha numeric codes, etc chosen as required for a particular taxonomy.
For reporting, roll-up, drill-down and other electronic functionality to work effectively there must be carefully thought out logic in the code schemes which allows the fancy technology that has been available for the last fifteen years to work to its full potential.
Problems with reporting, etc are fundamentally NOT technology problems, they are problems associated with the lack of logic in lists and the lack of logic in code schemes.
4. Codes allow the computer to emulate human intelligence
These highly structured and carefully thought out codes, designed by an informed and knowledgeable human designer enable the computer system to manipulate the data electronically with ease.
If the codes are badly designed then massive increases in human effort are required to produce even the simplest reports and this is why most organizations continue to spend large sums of money on expensive consultants to maintain what should be elementary reports that should be produced at the touch of a button.
The relationship between value and precision is dramatic:
5. Intelligent data
The above elements of semantic logic and carefully matched code schemes create what I call "intelligent data" – data that contains high levels of human intelligence and which therefore allows query, reporting, dash boarding, etc tools to produce elegant and easy to interpret reports.
In the absence of intelligent data huge amounts of manual effort are required to maintain reports and multiple reports will return different results.
6. JAR&A coding and presentation conventions
JAR&A have developed a range of coding and presentation conventions such as the use of indents, trailing periods, capitalization, gap coding, seven plus or minus two elements per hierarchy level, etc in order to facilitate the creation of intelligent data.
Software tools are being developed that will facilitate the application of these standards and help to enforce consistency and rigour.
7. False to suggest codes no longer required
There is a widespread view that "because it is Windows" there is no need for codes and that only the long English or other language text descriptions are required.
The most elementary examination of this thesis will reveal it to be untrue – how do you easily write reports which summarize, roll-up and drill-down based on long language text strings, the hassle factor and room for error is huge.
Text strings do not in any manner that is amenable to electronic processing facilitate hierarchical nesting of information in a manner that a computer can easily process.
Hierarchically structured codes allow reporting on ranges, allow the ranges to be extended easily and consistently, etc.
It is just NOT possible to achieve the levels of precision envisaged here without precision structured codes associated with the precision semantic English structured taxonomy descriptions.
The above list contains the main reasons why Strategic Engineered Precision Taxonomies are coded.
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