Like it or not, the practice of Data Management is currently being redefined all around us – by business advocates of Self-Service BI and Big Data, software vendors, trade magazines, software developers and promoters of new database technologies such as NoSQL and Hadoop. We as Data and BI practitioners need to figure out how to get in front of this train before it runs us over! And we need to start by acknowledging some hard truths: that nobody really cares about data management, that (to the business) the usability of data is more important than its quality, and that business users now have the tools and acumen to manage their data without IT involvement.
So let us ask the question: what would the practice of Data Management look like if we didn’t define it as managing data? Just as the railroads went out of business because they defined themselves as operators of trains rather than as transportation providers, we need a new definition of Data Management that addresses current, not past, business needs and concerns.
Larry Burns, author of Building the Agile Database, will share some ideas for a new vision of Data Management. Bring your ideas and insights as well; this promises to be a fascinating discussion!
What You Will Learn
This presentation will start from the premise that modern-day business users do not want IT to “manage” (i.e., control) their data, and that they are knowledgeable enough to assume the risks of using it. The challenge, then, will be to educate business users about how best to use data that is not pre-cleansed and pre-conformed by IT, and to frame discussions about data issues in terms of risk and opportunity management, rather than data management.
We will discover that concepts of Data Governance play a more important role in these conversations than concepts of data management, and that the design of data processes is at least as important as the design of data.
The topics we will cover include:
- The difference between Data Management and Data Governance
- Burns’ Law (The less Data Management you have, the more Data Governance you need)
- An Agile definition of Data Management
- Defining data processes (rather than data itself)
- What a modern-day Data/BI environment might look like
Larry Burns has worked in IT for more than 25 years as a database administrator, application developer, consultant and teacher. He holds a B.S. in Mathematics from the University of Washington and a Master’s degree in Software Engineering from Seattle University. He currently works for a global Fortune 500 company as a data and BI architect, and teaches a series of data management classes for application developers. He was a contributor to DAMA International’s Data Management Body of Knowledge (DAMA-DMBOK), and is a former instructor and advisor in the certificate program for Data Resource Management at the University of Washington in Seattle. He is the author of the book Building the Agile Database (Technics, 2011), and writes a feature column for TDAN.com.