Data Maturity Checklist: How Do You Compare?

Organizations around the world are either beginning to, or have already, accepted that data management can be a key differentiator. At Informatica World Tours, Informatica’s senior executives are sharing four key trends that are influencing data management strategies:

  • Explosion in data
  • New types of data
  • Increase of data in the cloud
  • Increase in the number of business users wanting access to data

They quite rightly point out that these four trends together are leading to a generational market shift. A market shift that propels data management out of the IT domain, and into boardrooms and strategy discussions. This focus on data is prompting companies to enter the third generation of data management: Data 3.0.


Data Maturity Checklist


In case you have missed it, here is a summary of data generations to date:

Data 1.0: The use of data for specific business applications

Data 2.0: Enterprise-wide use of data

Data 3.0: Data enables entire businesses to be transformed through new business models and processes

Those organizations that have mature data management practices have a competitive advantage over those that are lagging in data management and governance capabilities. This competitive advantage comes in the form of agility to rapidly deliver high quality data to support new business models and processes. Like most trends in life and business, there will be early adopters (and successes), fast followers, the masses, and finally the laggards who are either resistant to change, or are unable to change.

So where does your organization sit on the data maturity scale? I have a devised a quick 7 point quiz to give you a rough indication of where your organization sits in terms of data maturity. I have shared this checklist with individuals and with groups. A group environment has generated more interesting discussions. The group environment enables the sharing of internal success stories that help buoy confidence that investing in data management is both achievable and a valuable activity. I’d encourage you to enlist some co-workers to help you calculate your score.

Quick Data Maturity Quiz:  For each question you can answer ‘Yes’ to, score one point.

1.  Has somebody influential in your organisation realised data is a corporate asset and must be managed as such?

2.  Is that person your CEO? OR Do you have an influential Chief Data Officer in place?

Score ½ a point if the person you are thinking of in Question 1 reports directly to your CEO.

3.  Do you have a platform approach to data quality/availability?

This refers to a coordinated delivery of common data management capabilities[i].

4.  Have you started delivering this platform?

5.  Is this platform approach widely communicated and well received in your organisation?

6.  Have you realized any successes in terms of rapidly delivering insights from diverse data sources?

Be generous, but realistic. Even small successes are worth counting, but the success you have in mind should be a result of a (repeatable) platform approach, not a once off effort.

7.  Do you mention your data driven capabilities in public as a differentiator/asset? OR Have your customers noticed and benefited from improved data quality and availability?

This quiz does come with a disclaimer. It is not designed to be a foundation for business or data investment decisions. Neither is it an official Informatica data maturity assessment. If you would like a more personalized and thorough assessment of your data maturity, Informatica does offer a Data Governance Assessment. The checklist presented here is simply a quick check for organizational data maturity, and is based on individual opinions.

In terms of results – it’s quite possible that two people in the organization will come up with a different score, or the same score for different reasons. I encourage you to enter your score here for a high level comparison as to how you compare to others in the exclusive group of people who have read this blog.

In the spirit of quick guides and comparisons, I group the results on the data maturity scale as shown in the image below.


Data Maturity


[i] For a quick overview of Informatica’s Intelligent Data Platform for data management, Amit Walia discusses it in this video.  (Minutes 7:24 to 9:12 if you are short of time)