Data management has more than its fair share of three-letter acronyms: BPM, CPM, EIM, MDM, EDM and CDI. Why the resurgence of acronym activity around data management, and what does it all mean? For some period of time, IT professionals have been focused on cleansing and organizing their company's data. Within the act of organizing data are complex tasks such as determining which architecture to employ and the overall design of the warehouse, identifying the data sources and obtaining access, validating and cleansing the data, etc. Most of these activities have fallen under the umbrella term "data warehousing."

Today, however, business end users have gotten into the act and are very concerned about what information is made available to them for decision-making, how easy is it to access and how reliable it is. With this audience in mind, vendors, consultants and analysts have outlined particular initiatives that address the business need for readily available, clean and consistent data for strategic decision-making. Because vendors, consultants and analysts rarely agree with one another, this has resulted in a proliferation of three-letter acronyms, many of which address the same underlying tasks.

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