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Zeroing in on the Holy Grail of Global Standard Financial Reporting

Computer science is, well, science.  Getting a computer to successfully perform work has little or nothing to do with emotion, theological dogma, personal opinion, or such.  (Although, when you are creating a standard some of the discussions can be emotional, theological, and filled with personal opinion.)

Zeroing in on the Holy Grail of Meaningful Information Exchange summarizes what I have learned and discovered while trying to make digital financial reporting work appropriately.  My document was inspired by the introduction to the document Ontology for the Twenty First Century: An Introduction with Recommendations.  That document tends to be more oriented to scientific domains.  My document tries to explain the same ideas to business professionals.

Here are the bullet points:

  • Computers have three strengths
    • Information storage
    • Information retrieval and processing
    • Ubiquitous information distribution
  • Computers can be harnessed to perform certain work effectively, if done correctly
  • There are major obstacles to harnessing the power of computers
    • Business professional idiosyncrasies
    • Information technology idiosyncrasies
    • Inconsistent domain understanding of and technology's limitation in expressing interconnections
    • Computers are dumb beasts
  • Computers are tools
  • Ontologies are tools
    • Philosophy has used ontologies for 2000+ years (not machine-readable)
    • Computer science now leverage ontologies (machine-readable)
  • Knowledge engineering is, well, engineering
  • Technical syntax matters, but not that much
  • Software must be usable by business professionals because they own the problem domains
  • The holy grail of meaningful information exchange is...

Deliberate, rigorous, clear, logically coherent, consistent, and unambiguous ontologies created by business professionals can make dumb beasts appear to perform magic.

Posted on Saturday, April 25, 2015 at 11:10AM by Registered CommenterCharlie in | CommentsPost a Comment

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