Why Now is the Time for an Investment in Data Management
All application managers have gotten this question at some point or another. But it could be worse. Consider if the question never was asked and that bad data caused an error in a crucial business process or transaction. The damage can be significant and it happens every day.
Let’s suppose you do bad data in an enterprise application. This raises a number of very difficult questions:
- Provenance. Where did this data come from? Is the data from the right source?
- Transformation. Was the data transformed correctly as it was moved from source to target?
- Operational. Was there an operational error along the way that caused a critical process to run only partially or not at all?
- Change Management. Did somebody make a change to the data integration / data management system that looked like a logical solution to their problem, but that cause your application to receive bad data?
Good data is the crude oil (we’re all going to hear that analogy a lot more!) that business processes run on. If you have bad (or dirty) oil, you are going to have problems with the process.
Why do application managers care? After all this is data integration, not application management. The answer is pretty straightforward:
- So you don’t get questions like the one above, questions that suck up the time of your staff. (15 hours per analyst per month from one customer source)
- So bad data does not lead to bad transactions and bad decisions.
- So that bad or inconsistent data does not damage the confidence of the users of your application, causing workarounds and lack of adoption.
So, what should be done to fix this? It is time to start thinking about data integration and data quality management as a single system rather than a somewhat random collection of expensive one-off projects. The result will be lower costs, higher productivity, and greater user confidence in your enterprise applications.
For more on this and related topics, visit our Potential at Work site for Application Leaders.