Presented by Michael Scofield, M.B.A.

Assistant Professor, Loma Linda University

The “internet of things” is dependent upon the communication between various devices—such communication containing data. When data moves, it has architecture, and it is that architecture of “data in motion” (albeit small records within a transaction) which must be astutely designed.

The quality of any business or industrial process outcomes depend upon three major foundations:

  1. Quality and reliability of hardware (and physical network) supporting it.
  2. Quality of design of the process and decision rules. This includes anticipating all contingencies which would influence a decision made independent of human judgment and involvement.
  3. Quality of the data at capture, and quality of definition and clarity of data conveyed between devices.

In communication between devices, the obvious shortcomings and ambiguities of natural language syntax argue for more structured messages (containing well-defined data fields) for communication between devices, and between devices and people.

The dilemma is this: for each pair of devices (or sometimes more than just two), who determines the standard of data communication? Who designs the record layout? If a kind of device (like a microwave oven) is supplied by multiple manufacturers, does each have its own design of transaction and the subordinate message structure? If so, what if you have two kinds of microwave ovens in your home?

Each digital message between devices exists in the context of a transaction (conforming to a standard transaction type) which in turn exists in the context of a relationship between two or more devices. The action (or purpose) of a transaction (e.g. start the car engine on a cold morning) may be contingent upon a variety of environmental factors (each observed by some kind of automated sensor). The integration of all that data into a decision can be complex.

How is this all resolved? The answer lies, in part, in a wider understanding of the nature of data, data architecture, and data communication standards, as well as applying the principles of data architecture and metadata to the design of the interactions.

Some additional issues rear their ugly heads. In a culture of continuous improvement of devices (and, perhaps, of the transactions between them) learning depends upon accumulation of data (experience). Where is that data stored? Who owns that data? What are the privacy issues?


Michael Scofield, M.B.A. is an Assistant Professor at Loma Linda University. His career includes application development, database design, data architecture, information quality, and decision support for a variety of industries including manufacturing, software, education, and financial services. He has lectured to professional audiences in over 26 states, Canada, the U.K., and Australia. Professional audiences include various accounting groups, over 10 sections of the American Society for Quality, Data Warehousing Institute chapters, and database user groups. He has also lectured at numerous universities.


June 21, 2018 (Chapter meetings held on third Thursday of the month)


8:30 – 9:00 am – Sign In
9:00 – 10:15 am – Presentation
10:15 – 10:30 am – Break, Chapter Announcements
10:30 – 11:30 am – Presentation continued

Standard Insurance Tower (900 SW 5th, please note Standard Ins. has multiple downtown locations)

Atrium Room at the top of lobby escalators

Parking options:

  • Smart Park (818 SW 4th Ave, Portland, OR 97204)
  • Fifth Taylor Park (545 SW Taylor St, Portland, OR 97204)
  • City Center Parking (337 SW Salmon St, Portland, OR 97204)


Free for members (including ALL employees of corporate members)
$15 for non-members
$5 for students with valid student ID