Is DAMA relevant for business?

Tlaundryhe 2015 DAMA South Africa conference has been and gone.

Thank you to everybody involved for your time and effort.

Good opportunity to catch up with old friends and colleagues, and to make some new acquaintances.

I think most data management professionals would agree that business input is critical to achieving data governance and data quality.



Two years ago I asked, “Should IT Lead Data Management?

At the time, I suggested that, when starting out, data management disciplines should be driven by whoever has the passion and the enthusiasm to take on the challenge. If this happens to be someone in, or from, IT, then so be it. However, over time it is important that business take responsibility.

Judging by the audience at this year”s DAMA event, IT are very much being seen as the custodians of data within their organisations. Almost everybody attending was from an IT background.

To me, this indicates that we are still very much in a start up phase – as data management matures I would expect to see more business engagement.

What is encouraging – we had a lot more participation from corporate data management teams – rather than a 100% consulting lead event. This is good as it is an indication that disciplines such as Data Governance are getting attention and budgets.

In a conversation I had over lunch with a senior data management professional he expressed his concern over the lack of high level business case studies.

The majority of the presentations still focus on education. How, for example, should you approach data governance? What lessons did we learn in our data governance journey?

His perspective: We need more senior business managers talking about the impact that data management has had on their business function.

Where are the Chief Marketing Officers talking about data driven marketing, or CRM, or customer experience management?

Where are the Chief Risk Officers talking about Anti-Money Laundering, or the impact of privacy, or the wasted cost of legal compliance programs?

How is the CIO balancing the complexities of shifting data to the cloud, or to mobile, with the needs to ensure privacy and performance? Or ensuring that the data migration to teh new ERP or CRM application does not derail the entire process?

I am not sure that an event of this nature will ever attract an executive audience (or speaker) – although it would certainly be nice to see.

One very real problem is that data problems, and opportunities, are often not fit for public consumption. No-one wants to air their dirty laundry in public…

Another problem is time – what makes it worth while to get these people out of the office to attend an event of any form? The event would need to change its format considerably in order to attract senior business staff.

What do you think?

Is DAMA relevant to business?

Is data a business problem, and, if it is, how should an event deliver value to a senior business audience?

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