Wednesday, November 02, 2011

On Silos and Data Models

FSA issued a notice BU-729.  It seems to me, though I may be wrong, it's just another example of data silos, and a reason why, in 1990's terms, FSA should have developed an integrated data model.  Essentially the question is the relationship of geographic areas (counties) with administrative jurisdictions (county committees and local administrative areas) and county offices (of various types, shared management, etc.).  To administer county elections you need part of that relationship, to administer funds you need an overlapping part, to administer real and personal property inventories you need a third picture, to coordinate with NRCS and RD offices and jurisdictions you need others.  Unfortunately in my days at FSA each of those was administered by a separate office (or no office at all) and there was no overall coordination.  Apparently from BU-729 there still is no coordination.  My technocratic (Kevin Drum has a meditation on technocracy) heart is sore.

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