The reality of today’s business world clearly shows that the success of an organization, its ability to remain competitive and even its chances of survival in extreme situations revolves around its ability to manage information in the most optimal way.
Even if this fact has become common knowledge over the years many organizations struggle in the process of embracing this reality and have difficulties in learning or, at least, acquiring a basic understanding of what “managing information” actually calls for.
Fact No. 1 – Data Management is a matured methodology
Data management has been around for quite some time but its criticality has evolved progressively over the past years.
In my lectures and at the classes that I teach whenever I talk about data I like to refer to it as a Viking priest or an ancient oracle that will reply exactly with the answer to your question that you’ve placed.
If you want the right answers you need to ask the right questions and data management acts as the fundamental structure that guides you to the right questions if it’s properly implemented.
The truth is that the biggest red flag in the recent years that drove attention to the management of information was the financial collapse of 2008 that has brought a long and difficult recession upon almost every country and economy in the world.
A more sophisticated approach in the management of investment transactions data would have outlined a lot sooner the flaws in the financial system and probably would have at least reduced the impact on the financial markets if complete avoidance was not possible.
Fact No.2 – Only by understanding the basics you’ll be able to develop a proper strategy
It’s crucial that you set a starting point or a “square one” before you start changing anything in your data management strategy. You need to have in place a safe spot that you can always return to in case your approaches are not delivering the expected results.
You need to understand your current organizational data landscape and preserve it until you have successfully delivered your optimized approach and implemented the policies required to obtain the answers that deliver value and helps your organization grow and evolve.
By understanding the basics and you’ll know a lot more about what it will take to overcome any given project or challenge you’re contemplating.
Fact No. 3 – Data management is not about computers or technology
Yes, you heard me right – Data Management is not about computers or technology, computers, programming languages, database management systems etc are just tools that help us shape and structure the entire process but the truth is that data management has to be completely independent of them.
By analyzing the landscape of data related tools and platforms we can easily see that there are around 1000 technological suites that play various parts in the management of information ecosystem. It would be highly inefficient to try to assess and grasp the entire landscape of technologies and platforms available so the focus should actually be on the organizational data process itself, and trying to answer the following questions:
- What do we want to achieve?
- What data have we?
- What data do we produce?
- What data do we collect?
- What data do we need?
Computers or technology are an obvious part of the entire process as they are the means through which we put in practice our data management framework but keep in mind that the management of information is no longer centered on the ability to store and process or to create and delete data.
Bonus fact: Users and business value drive the management of information
Data is nothing without the people that use it and put it into the right light and context. You need to always think about the users and uses they have for the information. Managing information is most essentially about supporting better decisions. It is about delivering value from the islands and ecosystems of data that can support business processes and new opportunities for analysis.
In order to add value, effectively managed information has to arrive in the proper context and in the proper form to support a proper analysis and decision taking process.
The information has to be delivered to the user in a way that is defined and consistent, integrated and interwoven across multiple sources, aligned and synchronized.
These facts are the core processes of data management and have to be followed in just about every data-driven project to ensure a successful delivery.
Thank you for reading!
Until next time,
keep learning, keep searching and keep succeeding…
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