An Approach for Robust Data Management
Building a robust data management environment is in many ways like building a house. There are three components to building a good house. First of all, there are some fundamental questions you need to ask before doing anything. Why are you building the house in the first place? What are the important goals and benefits you want to enjoy? What other things are you willing to trade off to realize those benefits? Asking and answering those questions will help with the second component: building a model, or architectural blueprint. There are many different ways to build a house (or a data management system). Not all of them will be right for the needs you have in mind. There are efficiencies to designing and building in certain ways – and, as always, there are trade-offs with any given choice. Finally, once you have established a workable model, it’s time to build out the infrastructure. That starts with the plumbing. Nothing else in the house is going to work well without good plumbing which, seamlessly and unobserved, harnesses the flow of water (or data, in our analogy) to efficient uses as and when needed. Then comes the foundation – the platform to support the house according to your model. Think of the plumbing and the foundation as the transmission pipes, the controls to regulate the flow of information, the storage repositories and the other critical supports for your data management platform.
Asking the Questions that Matter for You
It’s hard to imagine that someone would build a home without first asking and answering some basic questions about what purpose the home is meant to serve. But all too often enterprise managers think of their data intelligence needs in terms of generic, one-size-fits-all products and solutions. They may be driven by the perceived urgency of getting immediate results, so they do not put the extra time into thinking through all the details that have to be in place in order for a solution to best meet their targeted needs. They build up organizational IT resources but fail to adequately integrate these resources into business decision-making processes so that business goals and technological capabilities are aligned. By not asking the right questions up front, managers increase the likelihood that their IT investment will fail to achieve the specified goals. Continue reading