There are certainly lots of tools for enterprise data management (EDM). They fall under a number of categories: data governance (DG), master data management (MDM) and customer data integration (CDI), to name a few. But they all perform various flavors of the same function, that is, integrating data sets from a wide diaspora of environments and disseminating them to far-flung applications.
That's why we were pleased this week to find several articles discussing the concepts behind effective EDM, rather than new tools to achieve it. Jane Griffin, writing in DM Review, points out the importance of ownership, oversight and stewardship when setting governance policies. Her take is that in a chaotic data environment (and whose isn't), clearly defined policies regarding data flow throughout the network are invaluable.
Over at destinationCRM.com, an interview with Jill Dyche of Baseline Consulting provides the four steps firms take to integrate MDM and CDI, which is crucial for the delivery of smooth services to consumers and efficient back-office business operations. Identifying the stage your company is at is possible with a quick conversation about data management with your network executives. Executives at Stage 1 will have a puzzled look on their face as they mouth the words "data management" to themselves. A Stage 4 exec will launch into a detailed account of the centralized MDM/CDI repository that's in place, feeding data network-wide to the applications that need it.
Some industries, such as the financial sector, are even seeing the wisdom of devising a common EDM strategy across multiple organizations. Wall Street's EDM Council recently launched an ambitious project to provide its members with an EDM strategy, taking on the practical challenges of such things as supply chain management and regulatory tracking.
In the end, the most valuable resource that any organization has is its accumulated data. Treat it with disdain at your own risk.