Unified data management usage will increase significantly over the next three years, according to TDWI's best practices report, "Unified Data Management: A Collaboration of Data Disciplines and Business Strategies." The report is based on a survey of 179 respondents from TDWI's database of data management professionals.

TDWI defines UDM - also called enterprise information management, data management or enterprise data management - as a best practice for coordinating diverse data management disciplines and aligning them to data driven business goals. Thus, UDM enables better business decisions and strategies, which is a main reason for the increase in usage, according to survey respondents.

"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."

Russom explains that when UDM 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. TDWI's recommendations for UDM best practices include fostering cross-functional activities and enlisting data governance to manage changes.

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