We have uncovered a root cause of the messy state of Information Architecture in large institutions and on the web today. It is the prevailing application-centric mindset that gives applications priority over data. The remedy is to flip this on its head. Data is the center of the universe; applications are ephemeral.

These are the key principles of the data centric manifesto:

  1. Data is a key asset of any person, organization, and society.
  2. Data is self-describing and does not rely on an application for interpretation and meaning.
  3. Data is expressed in open, non-proprietary formats.
  4. Access to and security of the data is a responsibility of the enterprise data layer or the personal data vault, and not managed by applications.
  5. Applications are allowed to visit the data, perform their magic and express the results of their process back into the data layer for all to share.

Data-centric is a major departure from the current application-centric approach to systems development and management. Migration to the data-centric approach will not happen by itself. It needs champions.

If you’re ready to consider the possibility that systems could be more than an order of magnitude cheaper and more flexible, then become a signatory.

Sign the manifesto