Reading The Tea Leaves: Predictions For Data Quality In 2012

Following up from my previous post on 2011 reflections, it’s now time to take a look at the year ahead and consider what key trends will likely impact the world of data quality as we know it. As I mentioned in my previous post, we saw continued interest in data quality across all industries and I expect that trend to only continue to pick up steam in 2012. Here are three areas in particular that I foresee will rise to the surface:

Data Governance Will Continue to Pick Up Steam

As I discussed in my last post, data governance certainly came front and center in 2011 and it’s safe to say that trend will only continue this year if not become more acute. Organizations are increasingly seeing the value that data has across their various lines of business and as such will look to govern it effectively so as to maximize their overall return on data. Whether it’s improved decision making, optimizing application portfolios or managing the challenges introduced by big data, data governance will be the solution organizations turn to in order to ensure their efforts yield the best results.

The Data Steward Will Grow in Importance and Reality

The acceleration in importance of data governance will lead to the data steward becoming a key role within most organizations. In practice, I would argue that data stewardship to date has been more of a practice rather than a specific role for most companies. Data stewardship, by and large, seems to be something that ETL developers, data architects, business analysts and the like do as part of their day-to-day activities. With more formal data governance programs taking shape, however, this approach will no longer be adequate. Over and above just large enterprises, I expect to see a rise in data stewards as a functional role this year.

The Value of Data Quality Will Start To Break Through

In my previous post, I suggested that companies are looking for what data quality has to offer but they just don’t know it yet. If that assertion holds true, the more organizations seek to improve operational costs, increase revenues and manage risks but increasing the return on data, the more they will realize that the quality of the data itself is central to making those things a reality. Increasingly, it will become clear that Master Data Management (MDM), application optimization and governance efforts will only be as good as the underlying data that feeds them. Data quality management, then, will come front and center.

These are just a few of the trends I’m sure we’ll see in the market this year. While there’s no way to predict exactly what will happen in the weeks and months to come, the fact that the data quality market is projected to have double digit growth rates for the foreseeable future, it’s clear that data quality management isn’t going away. In fact, I would argue that the opposite is true, that it’s only just getting started.

What do you think?

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