Enterprise Information Systems, :1-23
May 2017 · doi:10.1080/17517575.2017.1329552
In the domain of IT benchmarking (ITBM), a variety of data and information are collected. Although these data serve as the basis for business analyses, no unified semantic representation of such data yet exists. Consequently, data analysis across different distributed data sets and different benchmarks is almost impossible. This paper presents a system architecture and prototypical implementation for an integrated data management of distributed databases based on a domain-specific ontology. To preserve the semantic meaning of the data, the ITBM ontology is linked to data sources and functions as the central concept for database access. Thus, additional databases can be integrated by linking them to this domain-specific ontology and are directly available for further business analyses. Moreover, the web-based system supports the process of mapping ontology concepts to external databases by introducing a semi-automatic mapping recommender and by visualizing possible mapping candidates. The system also provides a natural language interface to easily query linked databases. The expected result of this ontology-based approach of knowledge representation and data access is an increase in knowledge and data sharing in this domain, which will enhance existing business analysis methods.