Dear Readers,

As a child, did an adult ever surprise you with the phrase, "What's the big idea?" when you were caught looking suspicious? The big idea in question meant they thought you were probably up to no good. But in the competitive world of the 21st century, big ideas are a combination of inspiration and an evaluative process to mold those ideas into shape, and they are necessary for growth and innovation.

This issue of DM Review focuses on five big ideas that are framing discussions in today's world of IT.

The successful execution of strategy is key to aligning IT and business goals. Jane Griffin's column talks about ways to get the business back into BI. Her suggestion is to ensure that BI is a strategic, not technical, initiative in line with the organization's goals and objectives. Barnaby Donlon lists five focus areas to help determine those goals. Lee DeVries demonstrates how mature BI capabilities empower the creation of strategy and improve decision-making.

Process is gaining equal footing with data as a business driver. The advent of the service-oriented architecture offers flexibility to look at extensible data (Joseph Rozenfeld), metadata management to define common processes (David Marco) and event monitoring to solve real-life problems (Sam Barclay).

Data governance has some political hurdles to overcome to guarantee enterprise adoption, but real ROI is being realized around single customer views and data quality. Many aspects of this topic are covered by columnists Jonathan Geiger, Tony Politano, Shravan Miriyala and Aaron Zornes. Sid Adelman and Bonnie O'Neil take a metadata approach to capturing intellectual capital - an important subject with the graying of the IT workforce.

Effective management and measurement of performance is a hallmark of successful companies. Knowing how to establish the business case for ROI (Craig Schiff), what to measure (Bill Baker) and how to analyze the numbers (Shari Rogalski) is critical to creating a framework for success.

Modeling data, applications or complete enterprises requires fundamental, powerful communication. Steve Hoberman, William McKnight, Rick Sherman and David Marco write columns to help you begin those conversations.

In an effort to continue to think big, DM Review has created a technology evaluation center. You'll be able to compare products/vendors using your own requirements with a simple questionnaire format. Test out the comparison tool at

Mary Jo Nott
Editor in Chief

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