Monday, June 30, 2008

I Dream of Data


For those of you that aren't certified "data geeks", you would probably not understand dreaming of data.  For some of us this love affair is new, and for some of us this has been a long standing obsession.

I clearly remember the first time I got the data bug.  It was an entry level database programming course and the lab assignment was to build and execute SQL scripts (inserts, deletes, updates, selects) against a provided data model using an Oracle (v5 I think) database.  It just seemed so natural to examine the data model and the problem and just pick what you wanted and join tables to build "grids" of data.  The career path in IT was set from the 2nd year in university!

Throughout my career, I have always been fascinated by manipulating data to gain insight into what is happening in the business of my organizations.  This has fostered a deep appreciation for the value of Business Intelligence, but on a larger scale an appreciation for how overall data management is critical to the success of an organization.  The Business Intelligence discipline must be supported by other components of an Enterprise Information Management (EIM) strategy such as Master Data Management (MDM), Data Governance, Data Architecture, and Data Quality Management to provide maximum value to an organization.  To forge ahead without engaging the rest of your IT department in treating data as an asset is a recipe for frustrated teams and ineffective solutions.

So when I fall asleep, I dream of a perfect environment where all pieces of an Enterprise Information Management strategy are in place.  Sometimes I feel like I am drawn to a big light at the end of a long corridor filled with data.  When I finally get to the end I see beautiful visualizations of information presented by my local Business Intelligence portal, harnessing all the inherent value in my beautifully managed data sources.  This is a big dream, but what dream worth pursuing is easy?

Good night, sleep tight!

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