Friday, December 28, 2007

Data Governance and Data Quality Predictions for 2008

Prognostication is a game involving gathering information, digesting it, recognizing the trends and using them to predict the future. When you make predictions, they only fail when you don’t have all the information. Completely accurate predictions require omnipotence, which it’s safe to say, I do not have. Yet, it’s fun to peer into the crystal ball and see the future. Here are my predictions for the world of data governance in 2008:

  • Business acumen will become more important than technical acumen in the IT world - This prediction is just another way to look at the fact that business users are getting more and more involved in the technology process, and that meeting the demands of the business users will be paramount. In order for technologists to survive, they will need to communicate in ways that business people understand. In 2008, it won’t be how many certifications you have, rather your ability to understand return on investment and get the message across.
  • Business Process Management will emerge – In a related prediction, applications that manage business process will emerge as important to most organizations. Business users and IT users will work together in GUIs that can quickly change processes in an organization without a lengthy IT development. It will start with call center applications, where companies strive to lower call times and improve customer satisfaction. It will then move to other areas of the business, including logistics. Of course, data quality vendors who embrace BPM will thrive.
  • The term “Data Quality” will be used less and less in the industry – The term data quality has been corrupted in a sense by MDM, CRM, ETL, and end-to-end data management vendors who claim to have data quality functionality, but sometimes have very weak solutions. New terminology will be defined by the industry that more precisely describes the solutions and processes behind data governance.
  • Specialty data quality vendors will expand data domains served to provide increased value – The main reason for the survival (and growth) of independent data quality vendors in 2008 and beyond will be in the data domains they serve. Large vendors offering end-to-end data management solutions simply won’t be interested in rules set expansion to cover data domains like supply chain, ERP, financial data, and other industry-specific domains. Nor will they invest in fine-tuning their business rules engines to deal with new data anomalies. Yet, the biggest projects in 2008 will rely on the data quality engine’s ability to cleanse beyond US name and address data. The big projects will need advanced matching techniques offered only by the specialty vendors.
  • Solutions – Customers will be looking for traditional data quality vendors to provide solutions, not just technology. Data governance is about the people, process and technology. Who better to provide expertise than those who have successfully implemented solutions? Successful data quality vendors will strive to deliver process-centric solutions for their customers.

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are my own and don't necessarily reflect the opinion of my employer. The material written here is copyright (c) 2010 by Steve Sarsfield. To request permission to reuse, please e-mail me.