2010 is adding up to easily be the most popular year ever for readership at information-management.com. A number of new topics (in analytics, software and infrastructure especially), drove much of the online discussion, but it was it was a lot of practical advice, a bit of vendor guidance and some inspirational leadership that drew our readers’ attention the most.

Without further preamble, here are our 10 most popular stories from 2010 in ascending order.

10. “How to Make the Case for a BI Center of Excellence” by Jill Dyché
Refocus stakeholders' attention on business intelligence with clear rules of engagement and quantified value. Here’s how.

9. “MDM Maturity Model” by Sanjay Kumar
Organizations need to follow a sequential step-by-step approach toward MDM maturity. However, new organizations with evolving business and IT applications can plan to build MDM while creating their operational systems. These organizations can try to achieve the higher levels of maturity right off the bat.

8. “Top 10 Trends in Business Intelligence for 2010” by Julie Langenkamp
Indications show that companies are starting to shift their focus from survival to revival. This list of trends was developed in part out of surveys HP conducted at popular BI and data warehousing conferences throughout 2009.

7. “10 Key Trends in MDM” by Aaron Zornes
These 10 trends will hopefully catalyze discussions (and consensus) within your IT organization regarding the roadmap IT professionals must craft for the next 12 to 24 months.

6. “6 New Must-Read Books for IT Professionals” slide show
Society for Information Management, the national organization of CIOs, presents an annual list of 30 books that are often viewed as the "must reads" for all IT professionals looking to advance their careers. While many of the books are perennials - such as Machiavelli's "The Prince" - there were a half-dozen new additions this year.  

5. “Strategies for Testing Data Warehouse Applications” by Jeff Theobald
Practical recommendations for testing ETL applications based on years of experience testing data warehouses in the financial services and consumer retailing areas. Taking these considerations into account during the design and testing portions of building a data warehouse will ensure that a quality product is produced and prevent costly mistakes from being discovered in production.

4. “40 Vendors We’re Watching in 2010” slide show

There are so many opportunities in information management right now that we're seeing a market of more startups and business models than ever before. That led to our decision to pick 40 to watch, but it's not a bad thing to say there are many more interesting stories than we can document here. It was much easier to populate this list than it was to decide what to leave off it.

3. “5 Problems with Social Networking in the Work Place” by David Kelleher
Banning access to social networking sites may be an optimal solution for some organizations but is too restrictive for other companies that benefit from social media. However, you certainly do not want to give unfettered access to social networking sites for these 5 reasons.

2. “Processing Avatar” by Jim Ericson
A thoroughbred of a data center at Weta Digital sits behind intense visual effects in the blockbuster movie and the creative artists who put it together.

1. “25 Top Information Managers” slide show
We asked our staff, our contributors and trusted experts in the field to tell us who they thought were among today's best information managers and people to watch in 2010. The nominations ran the gamut from CIOs to architects to program managers to specialists, and their work crosses many domains of the IM field. We vetted our submissions, and found each of the finalists is a savvy leader and a game changer in their organization - truly among the best information managers working today.

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