April 15, 2010 –TDWI’s recent best practices report, “Unified Data Management: A Collaboration of Data Disciplines and Business Strategies,” shows that unified data management usage will increase significantly over the next three years. The report is based on a survey of 179 respondents from TDWI’s database of data management professionals.

A main reason for the increase in usage, according to respondents, is that UDM enables better business decisions and strategies (65 percent). UDM data quality, says 56 percent of respondents. Cross-team collaboration can also lead to consistent data definition and usage (52 percent), which may be attained through master data and its management (39 percent) and data standards (23 percent).

“Data management includes many distinct disciplines, like data integration, data quality, master data management, data stewardship and governance, metadata management, data modeling and so on,” says Philip Russom, senior manager, TDWI Research and author of the report. “There’s a history of executing solutions for each discipline with little or no coordination with the teams, tools, and solutions of other disciplines. To correct this omission, recent years have seen greater coordination and collaboration among data management teams for unified data management.”
Russom explains that when unified data management practices go well, there is also an alignment between the data-oriented requirements of enterprise goals and data management work in support of such goals. The technology teams benefit by getting more serviceable data standards, data access, developer productivity and cross-system architecture. The business benefits from enterprise data that’s more clean, complete, current, compliant and consistent across the IT systems of multiple business units.

The most anticipated barriers to unified data management are turf issues, which may include a corporate culture based on silos (61 percent) and data ownership and other politics (60 percent), a lack of governance or stewardship (44 percent), a lack of business sponsorship (42 percent), or unclear business goals for data (28 percent). In related areas, inadequate budget for data management (31 percent) or the lack of a compelling business case (19 percent) can also be barriers.

TDWI’s recommendations for unified data management best practices include fostering cross-functional activities and enlisting data governance to manage changes.

Download a copy of the report at tdwi.org/udm-rpt.

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