Information management is a broad-brush term that spans the entire gap between raw data and "Information at Work," which is the mantra (and subtitle) of BI Review magazine. As much as we've seen the newer notion of "Information management" wielded in marketing spin and product hyperbole, we are getting closer to understanding the ways in which companies are approaching the term and what it means to them. Though we are clearly on the front side of the curve, Ventana Research's newest bit of research, "Information Management: Actions, Intentions, Perceptions and Trends in Information," should help many executives get their feet on the ground when it comes to what businesses are doing in the real world. The study plumbs a deep sample of more than 700 qualified respondents, many or most of them readers of DM Review and BI Review. In a sense, our two magazines represent the bookends of the chasm. Again, it's the leap from information to information management that is being studied. As Ventana notes, information is data in context: data with some meaning to someone. "Information management is the acquisition, management, organization, dissemination and use of information by organizations to create and enhance business value." Today, there are a variety of complementary paths to information management. If the older notion of information management was confined largely to business intelligence and data warehousing, than the newer approach addresses a broader landscape that sees companies funding a variety of projects and feeling capable of success.

"What we explicitly found in the research are clear priorities and initiatives underway in companies diversifying their technology portfolio," says Mark Smith, CEO and EVP of research at Ventana. "There's a large classification of technologies and processes that support information management and go well beyond the status quo of business intelligence/data warehousing." In absolute percentages BI/DW dominates activities, but the net growth of other areas such as data quality, data integration, master data management and information security shows there is a diverse agenda as it applies to information management."

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