Data Management Association International (DAMA-I) helps data professionals get an advantage in information resource management. We help our members stay current on the latest technology developments, data management trends, Web seminars and conferences. DAMA-I sets the trends and leads the industry when it comes to a complete body of knowledge for data resource management. Our Guidelines to Implementing Data Resource Management is in its fourth edition. This is a comprehensive tool of the trade for aligning data professionals with business.
Membership data is key to our organization. Because we have members worldwide, our processes must be flexible enough to handle the differences in addresses and phone numbers across countries. DAMA-I has been using the following five steps to attain great membership data. These steps can also help your company with any type of data.
- Data, to know it is to love it. For DAMA-I, this means understanding how we create information, including how data emerges from the ways our organization touches its members and prospective members. We must be data driven. We know and understand our members.
- Improve thy data. DAMA-I developed new ways to use our data, marketing conferences and discounts to our membership. Tracking demographic data and financials, we found that our data yielded better and more useful insights to our members' needs and desires. Because cleaning data can be costly and time-consuming, this step should be figuring out which data is mission-critical and which isn't. For some companies, it's not worth cleaning data errors such as sloppy punctuation when they don't get in the way of business objectives. Muddled mailing lists were our problem; we improved the integrity of membership contact information. Dirty data isn't just a matter of technical challenges - we worked closely with our members.
- Achieve data consistency. Deploy strategies that include data quality, profiling, integration, meta data management and other key data functions in a single platform. Keep future data clean; put processes and technologies in place that check every ZIP and area code.
- Ensure data consistency. Establish enterprise-wide data definitions and meta data. Develop rules and processes for data capture. DAMA-I implemented an online membership process that eliminated manual steps and streamlined the data capture. Involve the data owners; ask the business units for help in defining precise rules for what constitutes consistent data. Profile all of your source systems in terms of technical and business meta data, content and quality.
- Create a central repository. Create a master data dictionary; store the meta data and related information about processes so it's globally available. Standardize the data that your enterprise depends on.
Data quality problems cost U. S. businesses approximately $600 million in 2002, according to estimates from The Data Warehousing Institute. It may sound trivial, but from such small foundations, quality, clean data is built. If you follow the steps outlined here, you can have actionable, consistent data that clearly tells you about yourself, your organization and facilitates your decision making.
DAMA CHAPTER LISTING
This is the list of DAMA international chapters. For details, visit our Web site: www.dama.org.
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