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Q2-2017 Issue


A Note From TopQuadrant's CEO, Irene Polikoff

By now you have most likely heard of the latest regulation, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). This regulation was adopted by the European Commission to protect individuals from unintentional and intentional misuse of personally identifiable information (PII). GDPR is not something that can be ignored – it comes with very severe financial penalties and violations that can put your entire business model at risk.

At the DGIQ conference in June, interest in GDPR drew a large crowd to a presentation by Ralph Hodgson, TopQuadrant’s CTO, on
How Data Governance Capabilities for Profiling, Cataloging and Lineage also Support Regulatory Compliance
. Ralph used GDPR as an example of how regulatory compliance is a key driver of data governance initiatives and showed why enterprises are increasingly turning to graph-based knowledge representations to meet their regulatory compliance challenges. By connecting all the related metadata, data, forms, and other compliance collaterals, these technologies enable organizations to navigate complex data governance landscapes such as those entailed in GDPR.

The figure above is an example Neighborgram™ (screenshot) from TopBraid EDG™, annotated to show how within a knowledge graph we connect (1) individual PII data elements to (2) the situation of their use to (3) any GDPR obligations that apply, and finally to (4) the specific applicable terms from the GDPR regulation documentation. For more details, we invite you to attend our popular webinar on GDPR, which we will present again on October 12, 2017.

In the challenging financial regulatory world, the Enterprise Data Management (EDM) Council conducted a recent webinar “Regulatory Rx: Treating Root Cause," in which the organization took a strong position that semantic engineering and W3C standards-based graph technologies are an essential foundation to address mandated regulatory (including GDPR), infrastructure, and quality requirements. See sidebar for more on related developments.

SHACL and FIBO: Why are they important?

SHACL (Shapes Constraint
Language) is:
  • a newly ratified W3C standard for data validation and modeling.
  • a significant value add to the semantic technologies stack, bringing key capabilities to enhance data quality and implement data governance.
  • a rich ontology language that can enable the benefits of cognitive computing and AI.
  • overviewed in a 3-part blog series by Holger Knublauch, TopQuadrant's Principal Engineer and key contributor to the SHACL standard. The blogs cover SHACL features and their TopBraid support.
  • also covered in our Q12017 issue where we provided links to blogs that outline its importance to data governance.
FIBO (Financial Industry
Business Ontology) is:
  • an industry initiative lead by the EDM Council to define financial industry terms, definitions, and synonyms.
  • driven by Dodd Frank and the industry requirements for improvements in data quality and transparency.
  • currently expressed using the W3C standard – Web Ontology Language (OWL) as its system of record.
  • also available as a SKOS vocabulary of terms and as a searchable glossary of terms in HTML.
  • being translated to a SHACL-based ontology by TopQuadrant as an alternative to OWL that is more expressive and better aligned with the semantics intended by the EDM Council.

A European rail network management organization has selected TopQuadrant for its TopBraid EDG metadata management capabilities and expertise in semantic technology to deliver a flexible and extensible solution for the management and enterprise-wide viewing of information about types of rail network assets and their characteristics.

IBM chose TopQuadrant's TopBraid EDG vocabulary management package to provide collaborative taxonomy, ontology and metadata management capabilities.

The legal department of a major international bank procured the vocabulary management capabilities of TopBraid EDG to semantically enhance search for relevant content using terminology management and content tagging.

SEMANTiCS 2017 Conference –
Talks and Tutorials by TopQuadrant

With the growth in interest and use of semantic standards, SEMANTiCS 2017 conference is expected to be bigger than ever. TopQuadrant will deliver two talks and a tutorial on the use of its products to deliver enterprise solutions, highlighting the business benefits of complete, out-of-the-box support for SHACL, and industry standard ontologies such as FIBO and

  • Ralph Hodgson will present “Semantic Data Governance for Regulatory Compliance.” He will describe and demonstrate the use of semantics to get insights on data lineage and compliance.
  • David Price will present “Virtual Construction (V-Con) and TopBraid CDE – a linked data/semantic asset management solution.” He will outline how V-Con supports open information exchange/sharing between different stakeholders during the various life-cycle stages in road infrastructure design, construction, operation and/or maintenance.
  • TopQuadrant will conduct a full-day SHACL (Shapes Constraint Language) tutorial. Attendees will learn how to create SHACL shapes, how to use SHACL to express commonly used constraints, as well as how to extend it for more advanced constraints, how to validate data using SHACL, and how to combine SHACL with their pre-existing ontologies.
UPCOMING: September 28, 2017, 8:30 a.m. EDT. Virtual Construction (V-Con) and TopBraid CDE – a Semantic Asset Management Solution. In this webinar we will present how V-Con supports open information exchange/sharing between stakeholders during the various life-cycle stages in road design, construction, operation and/or maintenance.

UPCOMING: October 12, 2017, 8:30 a.m. EDT. Semantic Data Governance for GDPR Compliance. In this webinar we will outline and demonstrate how to become and stay GDPR compliant.

Recordings of Recent Webinars

"Maturing Reference Data Management" describes a Reference Data Management (RDM) maturity model and one likely path an enterprise can take to mature RDM. It also outlines how RDM intersects with and depends on data governance practices at each maturity level.

"Maturing Information Governance with TopBraid EDG," a companion whitepaper, outlines EIM capabilities as a foundation for information governance and describes the software capabilities needed to help you mature your data governance and RDM practices.

Download Both Papers Now

TopQuadrant is a Gold Sponsor exhibitor and is presenting the talks and tutorials as outlined above at the SEMANTiCS 2017 Conference September 11-14, 2017, in Amsterdam.


TopQuadrant is a Gold Sponsor and exhibitor at the Data Governance Financial Services Conference October October 5-6, 2017, Jersey City, NJ.

Our next newsletter will provide an overview of the new and enhanced capabilities in the next release (5.4, Fall 2017) of TopBraid products with focus on the enhanced workflow, lineage, collaboration and governance capabilities in TopBraid Enterprise Data Governance.

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