The Forrester Muse
JAN 15, 2014 4:34pm ET

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7 Deadly Sins of Data Management Investment and Planning


When it comes to data investment, data management is still asking the wrong questions and positioning the wrong value. The mantra of - It's About the Business - is still a hard lesson to learn. It translates into what I see as the 7 Deadly Sins of Data Management. Here are the are - not in any particular order - and an example:

  1. Hubris: "Business value? Yeah, I know. Tell me something I don't know." 
  2. Blindness: "We do align to business needs. See, we are building a customer master for a 360 degree view of the customer." 
  3. Vanity: "How can I optimize cost and efficiency to manage and develop data solutions?"
  4. Gluttony: "If I build this cool solutions the business is gonna love it!"
  5. Alien: "We need to develop an in-memory system to virtualize data and insight that materializes through business services with our application systems...[blah, blah, blah]"
  6. Begger: "If only we were able to implement a business glossary, all our consistency issues are solved!"
  7. Educator: "If only the business understood! I need to better educate them!."

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Comments (2)
I agree with the bulk of this article, and particularly like the business-centric approach Michele advocates. However, I cannot agree with her final 'don't', that we should avoid educating the business on data management.

If the business is to accept and treasure information as an enterprise asset, the business collectively must take ownership of the management of that asset. Clearly IS will bear the bulk of custodial duties, but everyone needs to be educated on the enterprise value of information, and their responsibilities (and accountabilities) for working with it.

For far too long, senior and C-level management have tacitly accepted poor understanding of the fundamentals of IM. Not only does deliberately choosing not to educate the business in data management not tackle this attitude, it reinforces it.

Posted by Richard R | Tuesday, February 04 2014 at 8:22PM ET
Good point Richard,

Sometimes the business Executives don't have the time for every detailed issue but if you can get them to understand it once and delegate the task somewhere in the business (Within Customer Service perhaps as they tend to be the most effected by bad data) That way you can create a lasting partnership within the business with the people who will create the change.

Posted by Jon B | Thursday, February 27 2014 at 10:10AM ET
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