I believe in motivational posters. When I was the editor of a college newspaper, I found a comic book picture of a vampire leaping onto a fallen victim, who looked frightened and helpless.
I scanned it and added new text to the vampire's word bubble:
"You dare miss your deadline?!?"
Like I said: Motivational.
Now, you, too, can create your own motivational integration poster! All you need is a cartoon picture or .gif of two rock slabs, a la Moses and the Ten Commandments, and the text from Tod McKenna's recent blog post, "10 Commandments of Data Integration."
Of course, you may want to talk to a copyright lawyer first. I outright refuse to be held responsible in any way for copyright infringements that may result from actually creating such a poster.
McKenna, aka the Tod Means Fox blogger, is a quantitative technical specialist for a European investment management firm, where he manages the data warehouse, works with BI apps and generally oversees data and data-quality issues.
In other words, McKenna definitely knows the real-world trials and tribulations of data integration.
It's a short list, so I won't insult your IQ by repeating it all here. Suffice it to say he's a big believer in planning, mapping and a thorough data profile, done with an eye toward the business process, "lest," he writes, you "become overrun by the deadline, scope creepers, and a great exodus of people from your tribe; if this happens to you, do not swear or curse, for you have been warned."
I particularly liked Commandment Six:
Do not kill dirty data: you shall clean them, or take them back to their sources for retribution.
It's also one of the few places where the 10 commandments include the admonishment to "not be shy about stealing your neighbor's work" and to "covet a proper audit and log system."
On a related vein, open source data integration vendor Apatar recently listed the four common rules for data migration on its blog. It's unattributed but, to be honest, I'm 95 percent sure it's a rewording of a 2008 CRN Australia article, "Riles (sic) of successful data migration." At any rate, both sets of rules are designed to help you ensure your data migration projects are business-driven.