FEB 14, 2011 8:52am ET

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The People Platform


Platforms are popular in enterprise data management. Most of the time, the term is used to describe a technology platform, an integrated suite of tools that enables the organization to manage its data in support of its business processes.

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Comments (4)
Jim, Great post. I've been doing data-centric work for over twenty years now, and I see two of your points demonstrated over and over again. First, you can't discuss business data without also discussing how business functions use the data. Like yin and yang, they give rise to each other, depend on each other, and only together do they create the whole picture. Second, the most important element in any enterprise-level effort is the people involved. The toughest challenges in data management aren't technical; they involve achieving agreement across organizational, political, and ideological boundaries. Conversely, when you get all the right people--business stakeholders, technical and business staff, vendors, etc.-- singing from the same hymnal, magic can happen.
Posted by DEAN G | Wednesday, February 16 2011 at 11:58AM ET
In spite of all the hype about social networking, I suggest that organizations are not people centric but algorithmic centric.

Factories, shipping companies, banks all operate on the basis of a set of core algorithms that lie somewhere within the organization's elaborate facade. Social networks and other forms of collaboration media are novelties that distract the people from interfering with the algorithms.

We Facebook, twitter, blog and e-mail while the algorithms keep the business running.

Risk is measured using algorithms, performance is measured using algorithms, production scheduling, yield and supply chain management all rely on these algorithms.

People, except those developing the algorithms, are overhead, performing those mundane tasks that the rocket scientists have not captured in an algorithm.

To an algorithm a "customer" is a "commodity". A relationship with a customer is the number of touch points, the number of transactions and the retention rate. To Amazon a customer is a commodity. No one in Amazon knows anything about you the person. But Amazon's algorithms know a lot about you as a commodity.

Algorithms essentially run Wall Street and the global economy. Algorithms run our utilities.

We talk about artificial intelligence as an unachievable goal. IBM's Watson is a manifestation of numerous algorithms optimized to play Jeopardy. That's as artificial as you can get to intelligence. Watson has no personality, no moods, and no emotions. It's "intelligent" and it's artificial.

Our organizations are increasingly algorithm centric.

Algorithms don't need data governance. They are data dictatorships!

Posted by Richard O | Wednesday, February 16 2011 at 1:23PM ET
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