Data management, as we know it, was conceptualized by Richard Nolan's 1970's writings in the Harvard Business Review culminating in "Managing the Crises in Data Processing" (for which, in part, he was awarded the 2004 DAMA International Achievement Award). Nolan introduced the concept of a "transition point" where an organization realizes that it has shifted its focus from computer management to data resource management. In today's, parlance it would be called a "tipping point." We have some good evidence that, while individual groups have made impressive advances, most organizations are on the uphill side of the data management tipping point. For example, our surveys have noted that fewer than 1 in 10 achieves a CMMI-like score greater than 1, meaning that the maturity self-rating of most organizations is "initial" or the least mature of the five CMMI maturity stages.

If we accept the premise that most organizations would be better off if they were able to shift toward data resource management, then it is easy to see how one of DAMA's goals might be to help organizations make the transition from computing management to data resource management. A restatement of this goal simply might be - to attempt to help organizations practice "good" data management.

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