Poor Data Management Will Get You In Trouble

by Slavko Kastelic | Apr 20, 2021 | Blog

Data is the modern capital. Therefore, you should treat it accordingly. But – do you? I am sure no company treats its data as good as they treat their money. Yet. Everybody knows that poor money management is a fast track to being broke. How about poor data management? Just the same.

The explosion of data in today’s business is a big burden. Not just on systems and applications that store and use them, but also on end-users as they often don’t know which data to use or trust. Let’s rewind a bit and see how we got into this situation.

Many companies have over the last years or even decades implemented various IT systems and business applications. And since they have done so in a siloed way, they are paying the price of complexity and chaos. Several companies have mountains of data. Which is quite costly to gather and store in the first place, and even more so to analyze and get some fruitful business insights. Such siloed organizations have many truths. Every department or even business user has his own data and truth. This is confusing, as there should only be one truth and one unified and trustworthy data set that companies would analyze and derive business decisions from. No enterprise can be effective without high-quality data.

Enter data management.

The Covid-19 pandemic has had a big influence on the digitalization of business. It has properly accelerated IT restructuring and digital transformation. IT-related business projects that usually took months or years to implement were being pushed to the forefront and demanded immediate attention. Digital, electronic, remote, and contactless became the new norm when describing doing business in this new decade. This required several data migrations and integrations.

Soon cracks became apparent.

Since all digitalization projects are tightly related and need interoperability to effectively exchange and manage the data, the integral part was missing. A good and trustworthy data management foundation. Without it, fast organizational changes and implementation of newly purchased or rented software solutions that are supporting fresh business initiatives just won’t happen. Or it won’t deliver the expected results.

Formal data management is key and should be introduced and supported from the top management level of the organization to succeed.

DMBOK – The thing you most definitely need

Why do you need data management, you ask? Well, as data is the foundation of information, knowledge, and ultimately, wisdom and informed actions it needs proper treatment. It needs to be managed properly just like any other asset. It also has its lifecycle.

When effectively managed, the data lifecycle begins even before data acquisition, with enterprise planning for data, specification of data, and enablement of data capture, delivery, storage, and controls.

On a practical level data that is available, relevant, complete, accurate, consistent, timely, usable, meaningful, and understood. Organizations that recognize the value of data can take concrete, proactive steps to increase the quality of data and information.

They use the Data Management Body of Knowledge (DMBOK). They treat data as the ultimate business asset they have.

I urge you to bring data management to the forefront. This way you will clean up the data mess in your company, build a trustworthy data foundation (or a lake), and put data to work for you instead of losing precious time and money on fixing data-related errors and bad decisions that derived from it.

Like it or not, all key tasks, priorities, organization, timeline, and technologies related to the data management of the company have to be well defined.

There are 11 key data management knowledge areas, but I won’t go into all of them in this blog. While most companies acknowledge the need for structured physical data assets storage deployment and management, they often lack proper data architecture – the overall structure of data and data-related resources as an integral part of the enterprise architecture.

But the part that’s usually missing is good data governance. Planning, oversight, and control over the management of data and the use of data and data-related resources is key. It’s the very ingredient that leads to great quality of data.

What’s your data management strategy?

Don’t have one? That’s bad. That’s really bad.

It’s like going sailing without knowing and inspecting the boat, its equipment, the crew, supplies …

Surely you don’t want to be the sailor whose ship sunk. Good seamen leave very little to chance as they have learned that the seas and the oceans are already very unpredictable environments, as is nature in general. And as are modern business environments.

Therefore, you need a formal data management strategy. You and your data need to be organized.

There are standardized processes that help companies keep or increase the value of their assets. I suggest you start there. Aligning corporate digitalization strategy with data management knowledge areas.

Once you put DMBOK to work your life (and business) will become much better. You will know at all times where you stand, what’s going on, what the data – that you can trust – is telling you.

CRMT can help you tame your data. We are experts in this field, and at this point, data management professionals are what you really need.

In my next blog post I will cover the Talend Data Management Platform, which is a part of Talend Data Fabric platform. The later is the only platform that unites data integration and governance to deliver trusted data at your fingertips.

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In April 2021, we also hosted an online event with a deep dive on this topic and which areas are specifically covered by Talend. Please contact us, if you would like access to the recording.