Study: Data management should come first

Organizations generally do a poor job of managing data, according to a Virginia Commonwealth University study published in the April issue of Computer, a publication of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.

The failures that public- and private-sector organizations experience when they introduce data warehouse technologies and other technology-based business analytics are a direct result of poor data management practices, said Peter Aiken, associate professor of information systems at the university’s School of Business.

Aiken and his co-authors propose a way that federal agencies and other organizations can use Capability Maturity Model Integration to assess the maturity of their data management practices. Carnegie Mellon University’s Software Engineering Institute developed the CMMI with help from Mitre.

Many organizations do not invest sufficiently in data management before implementing new organizational technologies such as data warehouses that depend on mature data management practices.

“A small shift in perception from viewing data as a cost to regarding it as an asset can dramatically change how an organization manages data” and increase the likelihood of successful transformational projects, according to the authors.

The authors based the study on the data management practices of 175 public- and private-sector organizations they contacted between 2000 and 2006.

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