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0720 Information Supply Chains

Lineage is typically captured from the running technology at a very fine-level of detail. This detail enables automated governance processes to validate that the data pipelines are running as they should be. However, this level of detail is too much for most business users and regulators to comprehend. Therefore, it is necessary to model the flow of data at a level of detail that is meaningful to these users and correlate the fine-grained detail to this business view.

An InformationSupplyChain is the highest level of abstraction for lineage. It typically identifies the flow of a particular type of data across a digital landscape. For example, there may be an information supply chain capturing risk data for a regulatory compliance report, and another one showing how the data necessary for carbon accounting is assembled.

It is an architectural construct that can provide the focus for data governance activities that ensure data is delivered where it is needed in a timely and efficient manner.

The information supply chain is typically broken down into segments represented by InformationSupplyChainSegment entities that each define a particular exchange of data. For example, it may be the flow of data through a specific business unit or country. The segments are linked to their information supply chain via the InformationSupplyChainComposition relationship. Their relationship to one another, and its logical sources and destinations are captured using InformationSupplyChainLink relationships.

The unique identifiers/names of the information supply chain segments, or information supply chain itself, are encoded in the lineage relationships captured in the lower levels of lineage detail:

  • The architectural view of the flow of data that the information supply chain represents is described using solution components that are linked via ports and wires. The SolutionLinkingWire contains the unique identifiers (GUIDs) of the information supply chain segments that it implements. Typically, each identified segment is for a different information supply chain that happen to share a part of the data flow.

  • The fine-grained view captured from the implementation and operation of the deployed technology is described using the data passing and lineage mapping relationships.

If additional processing is required to move the data between solution components along the wire, for example via an ETL process, this is shown by an ImplementedBy relationship between the information supply chain segment and the Process that represents the implementation. Alternatively, the component that provides the data movement can be show explicitly as a solution component in the solution blueprint.



An InformationSupplyChain entity identifies an information supply chain. It contains the description of the purposes and scope of the information supply chain and the description of its importance to the business.


The InformationSupplyChainComposition relationship links an InformationSupplyChain entity to its segments.


An InformationSupplyChainSegment entity identifies an information supply chain segment. It contains the description of the segment and its scope. It includes expected volumetrics to use in the governance processes that are monitoring the information supply chain segment.

The InformationSupplyChainLink relationship links the information supply chain segments, and descriptions of the data sources and destinations together into a graph. This graph represents the highest level abstraction of the operation of the information supply chain.


The diagram below shows a simple example of an information supply chain that shows how weekly measurements from the Drop Foot clinical trial are brought into the data lake for processing.

At the top is the InformationSupplyChain entity. It has two segments:

  • From hospital to landing area
  • From landing area to data lake

These segments represent the different parts of the flow. The first segment, from the hospital to the landing area is not modelled in detail since it is out of the control of Coco Pharmaceuticals. It is the responsibility of the hospital to get the files to their respective landing areas.

The second segment from the landing area to the data lake is the responsibility of Coco Pharmaceuticals. They are required to process the incoming files immediately, so they have a continuous monitoring process to kick off the onboarding process. The onboarding process moves the files to the correct location in the data lake and catalogs them appropriately in the open metadata ecosystem via calls to the cocoMDS1 metadata access server.

Modelled Lineage Flow

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