The Book Look – The Brackett Trilogies

BookLookStar Wars is an amazing movie series. It is probably the only series I can think of which captivated us adults when we were children, in likely the same way our children are captivated today. Star Wars also spans the globe as the “force is ever present.” Data too spans the globe, and like Star Wars also captivates us. Taking this analogy one step further, I think George Lucas is to Star Wars what Michael Brackett is to data management.

Michael Brackett has been in data management for over 50 years (even longer than the release of the first Star Wars movie), and wrote a series (similar to the Star Wars series) called the Data Resource Simplexity Series, published by Technics Publications. I would like to summarize each of his six books in this column, and talk a bit more about his latest and final book in the series, Data Resource Guide: Managing the Data Resource Data, which is scheduled for release later this month.

The goal of the Data Resource Simplexity series in one sentence is “to help organizations understand their data and manage those data as a critical resource of the organization.” The six books cover all of the concepts, principles, and techniques to formally manage the data resource, and form two very powerful trilogies: The Data Architecture Trilogy and Data Understanding Trilogy.

The Data Architecture Trilogy describes the development of a single organization wide data architecture for an organization. It consists of Data Resource Simplexity, Data Resource Integration, and Data Resource Design. Collectively, these three books describe the need to build a simple and understandable data resource, the need to understand the existing disparate data and to develop a comparable data resource, and how to design and maintain a comparable data resource.

The Data Understanding Trilogy describes the acquisition and documentation of understanding about all the data at an organization’s disposal. It consists of Data Resource Data, Data Resource Understanding, and Data Resource Guide. Collectively, these three books describe the need to create formal Data Resource Data to solve the meta-data fiasco, how to thoroughly understand the existing data through Data Resource Data, and how to develop and use a Data Resource Guide to manage those Data Resource Data.

Michael’s latest book, The Data Resource Guide, describes the design of a repository for the Data Resource Data. Its primary purpose is to be the single repository for Data Resource Data as they are developed and to make those data are readily available to any person in the organization that desires to thoroughly understand and use the organization’s data resource. The book keeps the design simple and therefore inexpensive to build and maintain. The book encourages incremental development and provides an initial construct that an organization can grow into as it evolves to formally managing its data resource. It also provides a construct that can grow to support an organization’s needs as that organization evolves toward better understanding and management of their data as a critical resource.

Michael Brackett draws on his vast experience to complete these two trilogies for formally managing an organization’s data as a critical resource. Michael Brackett continues to impress me as someone who has been a visionary thought leader for over 50 years. May Data Management be with you…always!




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About Steve Hoberman

Steve Hoberman is a world-recognized innovator and thought-leader in the field of data modeling. He has worked as a business intelligence and data management practitioner and trainer since 1990.  Steve is known for his entertaining, interactive teaching and lecture style (watch out for flying candy!) and is a popular, frequent presenter at industry conferences, both nationally and internationally. Steve is a columnist and frequent contributor to industry publications, as well as the author of Data Modeler’s Workbench and Data Modeling Made Simple. He is the founder of the Design Challenges group and inventor of the Data Model Scorecard™. Please visit his website to learn more about his training and consulting services, and to sign up for his Design Challenges! He can be reached at

  • Richord1

    I agree! Michael’s contribution to the art of data is profound. His books are sufficiently well researched and pragmatic. From reading his books, I think Michael has seen the “dark side” of data yet provides guidance on how to resist the forces of bad design and design data that survives and keeps the enterprise universe alive and flourishing.
    Like the Star Wars movies the same data forces from 50 years ago remain today. The battle continues but armed with knowledge from sages like Michael and his books, we carry the data knowledge light sabre to the next battle.