The essential building blocks of data management for business managers

Not many executives out there can proudly say that in their organization everything runs smoothly and precise as a Swiss watch when it comes to data management.

The secret of data management

It’s crucial to understand the value delivered by the implementation and usage of properly designed and optimized data processes. I’ve helped many organizations through this process and there’s a special spark in the eyes of the CIO’s when the projects are complete and the positive feedback comes pouring from the business side.

With each project that I undertake, I rediscover this joy especially when I experience first hand the excitement of business users when they can get in literally a snap of fingers the information they need to act, react and decide faster. 

I often get the question “What do you do to ensure the success of your projects?” and the answer that I always give is that in the inception phases the secret lies  in the understanding of the 5 core building blocks of data management.

The building blocks

It is essential that everybody in the organization that has an active role in the creation, generation or data alteration understands these concepts and can easily explain them.

From the project team to the users and the higher executives everybody has to be informed and helped to understand how a data project will impact them and the role of the building blocks in the context of data management and in the organization as a whole.

The essential building blocks of data management that every business manager, user and project team member has to know the meaning of, are:

  • Master Data Management
  • Data Governance
  • Data Quality
  • Data Integration
  • Data Federation

In the inception phase of every project, I usually set aside some time for workshops to explain these concepts and to make sure that everybody understands how they will sustain healthy data processes and the impact each of them has in ensuring the success of the company in the near future and in the long-term as well.

Even if some of them know or think they know what the 5 building blocks mean, I encourage them to attend my sessions so that they, at least, will get to see how their view compares to the explanations within.

Most important, I advise them to spend a little time with the concepts and return with any questions that they might have related to them.

The goal of this process is to get everybody on the same page. To ensure they have the right understanding I ask them to quiz themselves and see if they can  easily answer the following questions:

  • Can I explain aloud in simple terms what each of these things means?
  • Do I understand why each of these terms is important in the context of a data-driven project?
  • Can I identify who in my organization would provide or be responsible for these things?

By understanding these terms and their implications you’ll have a head start and be a more valuable voice in any new data-driven project you undertake. By getting them to understand these concepts you will have strong and aware allies in the process too.

This has been the secret of success to many projects I’ve led and ensured the preservation and maintenance of the processes in the long term due to the fact that the people involved were aware of the benefits and impact of not following the right path would have to the organization.

Raising the awareness level of executives in the 5 essential building blocks, Master Data Management, Data Governance, Data Quality, Data Integration, Data Federation ensures a long-term support to data projects and a strong commitment to the organization’s greatest asset, it’s Data.

No matter if you’re contemplating new layers of opportunity and complexity in areas like cloud computing, big data and mobile access, the foundational processes remain unchanged and have to be applied. These concepts are core data management concepts completely independent of platforms, systems or programming languages.

Thank you for reading!

Until next time,

                           keep learning, keep searching and keep succeeding…

P.S.: This article is part of  the “Data Management Expert Series” campaign aimed to increase awareness to the benefits of Data Management.

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The campaign is powered by Lyons Hathaway Inc. a data management company committed to the creation of value and business optimization through the improvement of data processes. 

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