Category Archives: Business/IT Collaboration
“Business-IT alignment.” The words have been touted so much by vendors (including Informatica), that they have become a platitude. But that doesn’t mean the concept itself isn’t still critical. This recent article in the IT Leader Potential at Work community lists the three actions IT must take to make a real impact on the business, starting by “inciting a revolution” among IT staff and turning them into business thinkers. Check out the article and share your thoughts here.
When I talk to customers about dealing with poor data quality, I consistently hear something like, “We know we have data quality problems, but we can’t get the business to help take ownership and do something about it.” I think that this is taking the easy way out. Throwing your hands up in the air doesn’t make change happen – it only prolongs the pain. If you want to affect a positive change in data quality and are looking for ways to engage the business, then you should join Barbara Latulippe, Director of Enterprise Information Management for EMC and and Kristen Kokie, VP IT Enterprise Strategic Services for Informatica for our webinar on Thursday October 24th to hear how they have dealt with data quality in their combined 40+ years in IT.
Now, understandably, tackling data quality problems is no small undertaking, and it isn’t easy. In many instances, the reason why organizations choose to do nothing about data quality is that bad data has been present for so long that manual work around efforts have become ingrained in the business processes for consuming data. In these cases, changing the way people do things becomes the largest obstacle to dealing with the root cause of the issues. But that is also where you will be able to find the costs associated with bad data: lost productivity, ineffective decision making, missed opportunities, etc..
As discussed in this previous webinar,(link to replay on the bottom of the page), successfully dealing with poor data quality takes initiative, and it takes communication. IT Departments are the engineers of the business: they are the ones who understand process and workflows; they are the ones who build the integration paths between the applications and systems. Even if they don’t own the data, they do end up owning the data driven business processes that consume data. As such, IT is uniquely positioned to provide customized suggestions based off of the insight from multiple previous interactions with the data.
Bring facts to the table when talking to the business. As those who directly interact daily with data, IT is in position to measure and monitor data quality, to identify key data quality metrics; data quality scorecards and dashboards can shine a light on bad data and directly relate it to the business via the downstream workflows and business processes. Armed with hard facts about impact on specific business processes, a Business user has an easier time affixing a dollar value on the impact of that bad data. Here’s some helpful resources where you can start to build your case for improved data quality. With these tools and insight, IT can start to affect change.
Data is becoming the lifeblood of organizations and IT organizations have a huge opportunity to get closer to the business by really knowing the data of the business. While data quality invariably involves technological intervention, it is more so a process and change management issue that ends up being critical to success. The easier it is to tie bad data to specific business processes, the more constructive the conversation can be with the Business.
Business and Technology Requirements that are Driving User Organizations Toward True Real-Time Analytics and Reporting
Can you imagine data being less important in the future? While organizations keep many data success stories out of the general press for competitive reasons, there are plenty of success stories out there and they make for interesting reading, for example the New York Times article How Companies Learn Your Secrets.
Data volumes are increasing, and the types of data we wish to analyze is becoming more varied. On the one hand, we need to process data faster. On the other hand, we have more data to process. What to do?
Ralph Kimball defined “real-time” as “faster than your current ETL architecture can deliver your data”. In the same way, I’d define Big Data as “more than your current analytic architecture can store and process”.
Smart meters, clinical trials, call centers, complex supply chain operations, logistics, changing risk exposure: the desire to be able to visualize important business processes in an up-to-the-minute fashion to make better decisions is becoming more and more important.
So, what great thing would you attempt if you knew you could not fail?
With improvements in technology and architectural approaches, most of us are held back our pre-conceived knowledge of historical limitations. New technologies and approaches are allowing us to solve some old problems, but everything has limitations. Where are the current limitations and how are those limitations changing? Where are the current opportunities?
I find that in discussions with many organizations, the difficulty is in imagining the great things that one might try to attempt. If you were able to ask any business question, or have any business knowledge at all, what would that be? Within the realms where data in some form, anywhere, exists: what would you ask? I’ve found that the organizations making the most progress in operational intelligence are the companies using the most imagination, both in terms of the business questions they are asking, and the technically new architectural approaches they are taking.
Every layer of the traditional data warehouse architecture has been affected by improved approaches in the last 10-15 years, allowing us to tackle both operational, tactical and strategic intelligence questions. After 20 years of decision support progress and new tools, real foundations have been laid for how to architect things differently, and how to collaborate differently as between business and IT.
This is the first in a series where I’ll mostly be exploring what those technically new architectural approaches are. If I had an opportunity to re-architect my old data warehouses using newer tools and approaches, with the knowledge of successful patterns I’ve developed over the years, I’d approach decision support and operational intelligence very differently. For instance, I’d populate my ODS differently. I’d use CDC differently. I’d use checksums differently. I’d use metadata, parameterization, templates, etc., differently. The benefit would not ONLY be the ability to have operational reporting and intelligence: I would also be able to do much more better, faster, and cheaper: without compromise.
In the Information Age we live and work in, where it’s hard to go even one day without a Google search, where do you turn for insights that can help you solve work challenges and progress your career? This is a tough question. How can we deal with the challenges of information overload – which some have called information pollution? (more…)
We are excited to announce the new Potential at Work Community for Application Leaders.
As an application leader, you have a very demanding job. You have to successfully manage issues such as:
- Driving the maximum business value from your company’s enterprise application investments
- Keeping all of your enterprise applications current and meeting user requirements
- Delivering on your service agreements and managing all of the “ilities.”
- Defining an enterprise application strategy that includes on-premise and cloud
- Delivering timely, authoritative and trustworthy data for your enterprise applications
This community is here to help you to do exactly that and to help you to excel in both your current job and your career ahead. Our goal is to provide tips, insights, best practices and information from experts to help you become more successful.
Our first edition is focused on the theme of managing an enterprise cloud application strategy. For those who are in the process of selecting cloud application vendors, I’ve included a very handy Vendor Selection Checklist that is used by Informatica’s Vice President of Applications.
Are we interested in your input to the community? Absolutely! If you have an idea or content to share with the community, please contact us and we will get you published.
Join the community and start unleashing your potential by clicking on this link:
Roger Nolan firstname.lastname@example.org
Julie Lockner email@example.com
Click here for more information on the Potential at Work communities.
During Informatica World in early June, we were excited to announce our new Potential at Work Community. You can read Jakki Geiger’s blog introducing the Community to learn more about the goals for this great resource. (more…)
So might read the subject line in a memo to business users from IT staff responsible for implementing a new application system. Changing requirements in a project is one of the most frustrating (for both business and IT staff) and time-consuming activities in a large project; so much so that sometimes it is the cause of massive project delays or even cancellation. But there is something wrong with the subject line; it presumes that the business users are to blame. They are not. Let’s explore the real root causes and the solutions to them. (more…)
It’s never been a more exciting to be in the data management industry. With more and more organizations looking to make the most of their enterprise data, the need to do things better, faster & cheaper is ever increasing. It should come as no surprise then, that data governance continues to be an important initiative surfacing across industries of all types. Through data governance, organizations are looking to unleash the true potential of data and leverage it for competitive advantage.
Since this is such an important and relevant topic these days, we have a number of sessions next week at Informatica World designed to help your organization drive success with your data governance initiative, regardless of whether you’re just getting started or are looking to drive improvement in your current program. Here are just a few of the highlights surrounding data governance next week:
- Learn how to make data governance a competitive differentiator that identifies critical business processes, decisions, and interactions and establishes policies, processes, roles, responsibilities, and architectures to support them with trusted, secure data.
- Rob Karel, VP of Strategy at Informatica, moderates this panel discussion featuring customers detailing their successful implementations of holistic data governance.
- Learn about the bank’s journey to a successful data governance program, the supporting role Informatica has played, and what lessons other organizations can take away from Wells Fargo’s experiences.
This is just a sample of what’s in store. In addition to compelling sessions, you’ll also have the opportunity to hear and talk with Informatica executives and several of our customers who can help you on your journey to data governance success.
It’s not too late to register for Informatica World, check out the registration page for full program details. I hope to see you there next week in Las Vegas!
Integration technologies have been around for 20 years (as long as Informatica has been in business) and have proliferated in corporate IT. We are now at an inflection point in the business needs and maturity of integration best practices which we can call Next Generation Data Integration (DI). If we’re going to talk about the next generation, then first we need to put a stake in the ground to describe the current, or prior generation. Furthermore, for it to be a “generational” change, it needs to be a significant step-function improvement in how the work is done and in the business value generated by data assets. Or as Jim Collins said in Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies, we need a Big Hairy Audacious Goal. (more…)
If your goal is to implement a world class Integration Competency Center (ICC) or COE, the best people you could find to make up the team already work for you. If you don’t currently have technical superstars on your team, you can still have a leading-edge world-class ICC that will “wow” your internal customers every time. You don’t need a world-class team to have a world-class competency center……you need a world-class management system. (more…)