Has everyone forgotten database development fundamentals?
In the hubbub of MDM and data governance, everyones lost track of the necessity of data standards and practices. All too often when my team and I get involved with a data warehouse review or BI scorecard project, we confront inconsistent column names in tables, meaningless table names, and different representations of the same database object. Its as though the concepts of naming conventions and value standards never existed.
And now the master data millennium has begun! Every Tom, Dick, and Harry in the software world is espousing the benefits of their software to support MDM. We can store your reference list! they say. We can ensure that all values conform to the same rules! Look, every application tied to this database will use the same names!
Unfortunately this isnt master data management. Its what people should have been doing all along, and its establishing data standards. Its called data management.
Its not sexy, its not business alignment, and it doesnt require a lot of meetings. Its not data governance. Instead, its the day-to-day management of detailed data, including the dirty work of establishing standards. Standardizing terms, values, and definitions means that as we move data around and between systems its consistent and meaningful. This is Information Technology 101. You cant go to IT 301jeez, you cant graduate!without data management. Its just one of those fundamentals.