The demand for data has never been greater.  The expectations are even grander.  On the other hand, what the business wants has never been more ambiguous.  

Welcome to the future of data management.  

According to recent Forrester research, most of us are ill prepared.

  • The business is placing the ownership on data professionals for data needs they don't have the full knowledge to enable: security, quality, business intelligence, and data strategy. 
  • Pressure to contain cost causes data professionals to focus on bottom line efficiency goals and de-emphasize top line business growth goals.
  • Investment in data  is still grounded in bespoke systems that lack scale, flexibility, and agility

I gave a talk on The Future Of Data Management earlier this week and asked the crowd a very typical question, "Who is in IT? Who is in the Business?"  Only one person raised her hand to identify that she was in the business.  Here's the rub, everyone in the room should have raised their hand to say they were in the business – even the technology management professionals.  This is why, to succeed in data management you have to think like a business owner.  You need to learn and understand what goes into supporting security, quality, business intelligence, and craft data strategies that are business growth opportunities.

Making this transition requires a change in four key principles that shift focus from data systems to business outcomes achieved by using the data.

  • Data quality transitions from perfecting data in a system to focus on trusting data at consumption
  • Requirements gathering to build a platform transitions to focus on solving business challenges
  • Insular uses of data transition to harvesting data for a more complete understanding of the business and market
  • Analytics transitions from BI and warehouse environments to operational and transactional engagement models

When you are asked to come up with a data strategy.  When you are evaluating how to modernize your data platform.  When you get project requests.  Always refer to the four principles of data management and you will be prepared for the future of data management. This will keep your efforts and the value of data in context for business needs.

Check out Forrester's recent report Design Tomorrow's Data Management For Agility In Context to get insight into the new operating framework for data management.