What is TotEMTM and where is it used?

Total Enterprise Modelling (‘TotEMTM‘) is a methodology that ensures CRISP-DM modelling is the most effective it can be. TotEM uses a back to basics approach with senior executives that clarifies exactly what key issues a business needs to address with its data modelling.

Let’s take an example from the water industry: flood prevention. Preventing floods depends on having the right infrastructure assets (i.e. pipes), the right non-infrastructure assets (e.g. pumps) and the right operations approach to deal with the media flowing down the pipes (e.g. regular cleansing).  All three need to work well to prevent floods: correctly specified and maintained pipes and pumps and regular cleansing. The trouble is that there are many, many miles of pipes, thousands of pumps and thousands of cleansing and unblocking activities carried out every year.

In this example, the head of the pumps department was getting hassle because the pumps needed very frequent unblocking. He said he suspected that there was nothing wrong with the pumps, the problem was that there was insufficient money being allocated to cleansing and so the media was becoming worse and blocking up the pumps. This all has huge financial and emotional implications and raises numerous questions. Where do you best direct many millions of pounds to prevent flooding of people’s property? Do you put it into more cleansing or into different pumps or something else? What is the connection between cleansing activity, media quality and pump unblocking? How do you even formulate the right business question before you begin to enable the modelling of the data for these millions of pumps and miles of pipes?

This is where TotEMTM comes in. CRISP-DM is used to tackle the modelling part of this problem but it will not challenge the business to pinpoint the correct question to be asked.

What is involved with TotEMTM?

The TotEMTM process begins with the experienced team at Red Olive conducting a series of structured interviews with senior execs. We know what’s really needed in order to begin a good CRISP-DM modelling cycle and that is what we work towards through a series of interviews and workshops. We then create recommendations that contain one or more carefully formed, critical business
questions. Each structured question enables a CRISP-DM modelling cycle to be undertaken with questions that address very significant, previously untapped novel business value. This approach ensures that we, together with the company, get the right answer to the right question.

When is TotEMTM not used?

TotEMTM is extremely effective in situations where a complex business problem needs to be tackled by several different departments and is used a lot with sophisticated data techniques such as predictive analytics. It is not applicable where a defined set of information needs to be delivered or structured for easier navigation, so we wouldn’t use it to deliver a dashboard or develop a data warehouse for instance.


TotEM overview diagram

Overview of TotEM approach

In the next posting we’ll illustrate how this interaction works by looking at a real example of what can go wrong when a company focuses too much on modelling and gets the right answer to the wrong question.