It's funny how a concept you think you understand can suddenly open up to a new realm of consideration.

This happened to me when I first read Dan Power's column for this issue, in which he outlines a four-dimensional approach to data governance.

We all know that people, process and technology are interdependent factors to manage in any project or program. Dan adds information to that group, and it's a timely point considering how far and fast we've come in our appreciation of a new core competency. Dan brings home the fact that we're all increasingly in the business of information. Going forward, how people use information within the construct of people, process and technology will increasingly predict the success of any business.

Certain people seem to understand and manage these dependencies much better than others. Many managers still struggle with how to value information as a corporate asset or overcome inertia or resistance to a corporate culture that values better interaction between business and IT. Some make whole careers out of endless wrestling with poor quality data, struggling data governance programs and other crippling challenges.

What can make the difference is the presence of a leader who sees the vision for an information management program and takes the steps to bring it to reality. For our second annual "25 Top Information Managers" feature, we gathered stories of such leaders – smart people who are tackling these challenges and making a difference in their organizations.

The stories of the work that they're doing and progress that they're making are inspiring. You'll find these movers and shakers and short descriptions of their challenges and milestones listed here. We'll have more insights uncovered in talking with these game changers, some of the habits of each of them and the work they're doing along with their information management goals.

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