Data Management

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Got data management risks? Data governance can help
By David Almquist and Lane F. Cooper

Management today recognises that traditional approaches to data management expose them to risks and information gaps that enterprises cannot afford to ignore.

"Organisations are finding that, while all their departments have a lot more information to work with, they may be keeping customer information in 23 different databases," explains Richard Wozniak, program director, dynamic information infrastructure at IBM Software Group. "This doesn't promote important imperatives, like customer satisfaction or support billing or fraud detection efforts."

More advanced organisations are beginning to acknowledge that information is a collective asset to be managed with a view toward maximising its return on value.

"Until that conceptual change has occurred, IT data management efforts will remain at the periphery, occupied with putting out fires and solving problems related to specific applications," says Wozniak.

Creating effective data governance processes that span the enterprise and uses assets that cross departmental boundaries is challenging. The process could begin by setting up a data governance council, performing a data governance assessment, and then laying out a road map to show how IT managers will provide data throughout the organisation that remains protected, achieves service-level goals and meets archival requirements.