Component 144516

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Component 144516
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SMW explains your business…

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while your file system merely organizes your files

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What does "…explains your business" mean?

When you explain something to someone, you often do it on two levels:

  1. on a so-called terminological level (i.e. on an abstract or general level) and
  2. on a so-called assertional instance level (i.e. on a concrete, factual level).

For example, to a new employee, you explain:

(1) Job applicants attend several application rounds and they either pass or fail.

You would then reinforce your new employee's fresh understanding by saying:

(2) For instance, this graduate Joe has passed his first round of application last Friday.

So, you initiate your explanations on the terminological level and exemplify them on the assertional instance level.

What does "…parts of things…" mean?

Now, there are two things to keep in mind here. Firstly, your business might be large and vertically integrated. Secondly, you probably divide your tasks to different roles, who need a thorough understanding of a specific part of your business and can do with general high-level understanding of your overall business.

Hence, in the sense of "divide and conquer", it is appropriate to reduce the view onto your business for a given moment and purpose. This reduced view is what we call a "facet" of your business. As mentioned above, such a facet can be terminological or assertional.

How do we define a facet?

Your business consists of and operates based on "things". Things that 1. can be described and 2. relate to each other in certain ways. Both these descriptions as well as relations are expressed in terms of statements. A statement has a subject, a predicate and an object. Here's an example:

(3) Graduate Joe has passed first round of application.

This is an assertional statement having:

  • "Joe" as its subject,
  • "has passed" as its predicate and
  • "first round of application" as its object.

The corresponding terminological statement could be:

(4) Applicant has passed application round.

So, let's say we want to define two facets:

  1. the facet "All graduate applicants that have passed any round of application" as well as
  2. the facet "Any applicants that have passed the first round of application".

For SMW, we formalize these two facets like this:

  1. Is applicant type::Graduate and Has passed::any
  2. Is applicant type::any and Has passed::first round application

Now, let's say you hire an external person temporarily. She can ask your SMW:

I am a second round examiner for graduate applicants. How do I retrieve their CVs?

Your SMW can explain:

Filter all CVs for Is applicant type::Graduate and select the ones that say Has passed::first round application.

But better yet, since your SMW "understands" the semantics, it can directly show you the correspondng CVs.

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