Police arrest unstructured data in IT overhaul

NSW Police is embarking on a massive overhaul of its enterprise architecture and is currently in phase four of the overall plan. The end goal is interoperability across all government sites.

Robert Peake, enterprise architect in the interface and integration department of NSW Police, said new taxonomies are being created for data collaboration across agencies.

However, Peake said a plan this large cannot be managed as a simple project or necessary development will be circumvented for "all the wrong reasons".

Speaking at the Telelogic user conference in Sydney last week, he said Police wanted to align its architecture with global standards.

"We wanted new taxonomies that allowed agencies to band with us and collaborate, but there was hardly any business architecture or information architecture acceptable as a standard; we had to develop our own," Peake said.

As a result, Police developed a repository system and use System Architect.

"This allowed us to data model all our requirements for all our five architectures," he said.

"Then we bought our system architecture people in (both from internal departments and external vendors) and only programmed what was essential for our first year of activity."

By March 2006, all projects were aligned to the new architecture.

"We have 10 business models and currently 91 processes in our repository," Peake said.

"We started out with about 300 words in our thesaurus and about 900 classifications and that has increased to 5000 terms identified in a hierarchal structure; we have defined about half of them.

"We also have 10 areas of data management and these are being progressively laid down in the information hierarchy; we have identified 184 applications."

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