Traditional Approach to Data Management Only Treats the Symptoms

In my last blog, I discussed that although we’ve thrown a huge amount of money to solve data problems, the result is unsatisfactory. For poor data quality, we identified the root cause: the lack of transparency and accountability between providers and consumers of data.

In most organizations, because the relationships and rules of engagement between data providers and consumers are not transparent, data consumers naturally assume that the wizardry of IT is responsible for data. When data problems arise, IT gets the blame: IT becomes the de facto data owner. But IT typically doesn’t have the authority to address the root cause by telling data providers to bear the cost of good data for the benefit of the entire organization. So IT has to solve the problem in some other way. Read more

What’s the Root Cause of Bad Data?

Starting this week, I’ll be publishing a series of blogs on enterprise data governance. As always, I welcome your comments and feedback.

When it comes to data management, presentations and whitepapers all have a very consistent theme: Data is important, and we need to do something about it. The vendor landscape changed. Technology fashion changed. But the message remains the same, almost as if nobody is aware of the problem or has done anything about it. Read more

High Speed Impact Ahead: Business Apps, MDM and Data Governance

I recently came across a use case that clearly demonstrates why business applications, MDM and data governance are on a collision course.  And, following my blog from last week, this is also where data and business process intersect. Read more

Measuring Data Assets — What is the true cost of bad data?

Recently, a business executive told me that they expect 20% of their customer data to be “bad” at any point in time, a cost of doing business, according to him. Like many business theories, most managers have come to accept certain myths as truth; that you can’t have growth and profitability, that employees are generally lazy, that competitors will act ethically to form a healthy market. Not only is bad data bad for business, it can be catastrophic. Read more

Data Governance is the Missing Link between Data and Business Process

In my career, which has spanned both sides of buying and selling IT, one thing hasn’t changed: Data people and business process people don’t talk to each other. Business process people assume that data simply exists and care little about how it is “managed”, while data people focus more on the bits and bytes stored in repositories than how the bits and bytes are created and consumed. With data and process sitting on different layers on enterprise architecture diagrams, the prevailing view is that everything will work as long as the interfaces are well defined. Read more

Data Governance takes flight

Last night, I arrived at my gate in Boston to board a flight to San Francisco. I arrived about ten minutes before boarding, and as is my usual custom, I stood at the entrance to the boarding area. To my surprise, there was nobody else standing there, but within 30 seconds people had begun to line up behind me as if I knew something. Within 5 minutes, a line of 50 or so people had formed. The gate agents cast a worried look our way. When the traditional boarding time arrived, typically 30 minutes before the flight, the mood of the crowd shifted; people began posturing for better position, and several people moved their way up to the front of the line for “pre-boarding. Problem is, American doesn’t pre-board”. Read more

Why you need EVERY-Domain Master Data Management

Last week, a Customer Data Integration vendor (CDI) announced they were changing the name of their product to “Multi-Domain MDM Hub”, citing that “nearly half” of their customers use their product for multi-domain purposes. That means that more than half use it for only one domain. What is it that makes it so difficult for CDI and PIM (product information management) vendors to expand into other domains? Read more

The Business Imperative in Data Governance

Last week I attended the MDM Summit in New York, ably hosted by Aaron Zornes. I sat on a panel discussing master data management business and technology strategies for the IT executive. It was a eclectic panel; me, Elaine Bradshaw, SVP at Marsh in charge of data management, Nachi Desai, VP of enterprise architecture and BI at 1-800-flowers.com, and Sandeep Manchanda, Head of Information & Technology Management, General Insurance at Zurich Financial Services.

What was fascinating to me was that each of these very accomplished executives was taking a different approach to implementing MDM in their enterprise, but each in their own way understands the critical need for business end-user and executive involvement. Read more

Why won’t the business take CONTROL of their data?

In a recent column, Dan Brown talks at length about the issue of data ownership. He contends that most C-level executives don’t know if their data is accurate. The fact is, most business users could look at data and think it is “accurate” but not understand how it can be “bad” data. What is really required is for business users to be intimately involved in the definition of their data, the business processes that use it and the applications that consume it. Read more

What’s the REAL cost of BAD Data?

For years, companies of all sizes have focused on business process efficiency, network management, infrastructure optimization and outsourcing. Only in the past few years has the concept of “data governance” begun to get the attention of senior management. So, what is data governance? Read more