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The Importance of Data to your SAM Service Line

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Is your software asset data providing you with the right information to help you make informed decisions for your business?

In this post, ITAMS’ consultants define “data”, what data elements support IT asset management (ITAM) and what the data model comprises of for effective licence and compliance management.

Accurate, complete, and timely data is essential for reliable licence and compliance management. Regardless of how many sources you have, data coming into your asset repository must be of sufficient quality, quantity and coverage.

Data quality is the measurement of the correctness and completeness of data elements across all entities and the applications of standards, including attributes therein. When data is generated across multiple systems and then brought into the repository, where there are multiple data elements mapped to a single attribute, the data should, according to best practices, have the same format, i.e. Date = DD/MM/YYY.

Data quality also refers to the age of the data; it must be generated and transported in a timely fashion which supports the asset needs. Timeliness of data will depend on the asset (licence) and business requirements.

Data quantity then, is the measurement of the number of relevant data elements you have available to map against each entity. For example, if you are trying to create an asset profile, but all you have available to you is the product name and the date acquired, then you have insufficient data quantity. In order to create an asset profile, you would also need: PO number, SKU number, cost etc. Without the correct data quantity, your assets will not be complete.

Data coverage refers to the measurement of the availability of data elements, entities across the entire organisation in all environments and platforms. In order to generate a correct view of your assets, you must have data on Wintel, UNIX, Development and Test, Production, Disaster Recovery, Infrastructure, Regional Data etc. Unless you limit the scope of your SAM Service, you must have sufficient coverage for asset data.

Data elements in support of ITAM (of which SAM is a subset), must:

  • Include all relevant data, not just software asset and licence data.
  • Support all IT asset views resident in different technologies:
  • – Acquired (IT asset & licence repository).
    – Installed (inventory discovery).
    – Used (usage metering).
    – Entitled (access authorisations).

  • Support specific requirements for analysis and reporting.

The data model is comprised of:

  • Entities – e.g. asset, contract.
  • Elements (fields) – e.g., asset name, asset type.
  • Definitions (purpose, intended content).
  • Standards for key data elements – e.g., asset status.
  • Attributes – e.g., alphanumeric, character.
  • Links between entities – e.g., assets to licences to contracts.
  • Relationships amounts entities – e.g., ‘installed on’, ‘assigned to’.
  • Sources (systems-of-record) for each entity, possibly element.

Without data, your technology will not support your business requirements and be unable to provide you with the reporting and analysis information needed to make qualified decisions regarding your assets.

For more information about SAM data analysis services, please contact ITAMS.

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