Are we done yet?

life cycleA data management initiative will progress through several initial phases with a goal to reach a steady managed state. Incorporating data management into your enterprise is a little like establishing a personal fitness program. You probably start with a goal, educate yourself about ‘best practices’ for diet and exercise, build a plan to reach your goal, seek out tools that will help you along the way, and ideally have knowledgeable support people who will help you to keep going until you reach your goal. But, we all know, that when we reach our goal we can’t just stop and expect to keep fit.

A successful data management program identifies immediate and longer-term business goals, initiates a targeted project, determines the metrics for success, educates the organizations that will supply or benefit from the data management function, and appoints the people who will be responsible for accomplishing the needed tasks.

Data management is a function like any other, e.g. the finance function. You are never “finished” managing the money in an organization, and you are never “finished” managing the data either. But a successful effort delivers a data management discipline that is well-integrated with all the other functions of the enterprise that manage key enterprise assets. What’s your data strategy?