Getting Buy-In for your Data Management Initiative

by Victoria Thomason

28 Feb 2014

Even in a flourishing economic climate, it can be difficult to persuade those who hold the purse strings to allocate budget to projects that appear to have no immediate value.

Furthermore, with caution in the air and organisations restricting their spending, it is even harder to convince budget holders to invest in a Data Management initiative.  So, how can you build a business case that is concise, beneficial and that demonstrates a valuable return on investment?  Whilst not impossible, it can be challenging. There are some obvious, and less obvious, tips and benefits worth elaborating on.

Firstly, what is Data Management?

Simply put, it is the name given to the processes, applications and people that are responsible for managing an organisation’s data.

Data Management can be divided into several specialist areas (listed below). Pulling all of these together to form a combined, comprehensive data management solution will set your business on the pathway to eliminating its current data-related problems, allowing for the data that it uses to become “good” – high-quality and reliable.

The key areas of Data Management include:

  • Data Quality
  • Data Governance
  • Data Integration
  • Business Intelligence
  • Performance management

All of these can operate and be implemented independently of each other. However, ideally, all of these should be contained within a single strategy, as they each have an impact on the others.

For example, without Data Quality, you will end up with inaccurate, inconsistent and, ultimately, inept reporting, no matter how sophisticated the technology or how complex and advanced the reports.

Furthermore, without well-enforced, company-wide Data Governance procedures, how can you hope to achieve the level of Data Quality required?

Quite often, Data Governance and Data Quality are looked at separately. This is nonsensical. Dealing with these two areas independently will result in overlap and extra time and money being spent overall. Tying these together, however, can help to underpin your business case for implementing a comprehensive Data Management Strategy.

This article is a guest post by Ike Ononogbu, the Consulting Director of InforData Consulting, a data management consultancy recently named in Gartner’s Market Guide: External Providers for Master Data Management.