First off, let’s set the baseline for the definition of a “wonk”. There are actually several definitions; some positive and some not-so-flattering. For my purposes here, I’m going with "a person who is obsessively interested in a specific subject" or "diligent student". I’m also pretty much okay with “geek”.
Why You’re Here
I’m guessing that you’re already aware of what I’m about to say since you’re on this site reading about data management topics, but I’ll say it anyway. Data management as a business function will continue to increase dramatically in its importance to all but the smallest of companies. The value that a company can gain from properly managing and utilizing its data resources is significant with regards to operational efficiencies, decision making, risk management and overall revenue. The Data Management Wonk website is doing its part to spread the data management gospel to anyone willing to spend a little bit of their valuable time reading, listening, and/or watching the content contained herein.
The tagline of this site, “If you’re not creating business value, you’re just another expense”, is aimed at everyone who has responsibilities for data at any point along its lifespan: architects and developers, InfoSec folks, DBA’s, data stewards, IT management, business management, BI analysts and developers, and so on and so on. The biggest concern that I have is that people say that their data is an asset, but they don’t manage it as one. There’s no data strategy in place, no data-centric organizational structures, no data-specific management processes. Frankly, you’d be hard pressed to even get a solid definition out of most of these people as to what “data as an asset” really means. Here’s a definition for you to think about; I’ll break it down to a single word for you, “Value”. The tagline here isn’t a marketing slogan, it’s the driver behind everything done on this site.
How I’m Organizing Things
In order to add some structure around the content of this website, I’m going to organize my content primarily around the ten component functions of the DAMA Functional Framework as defined in the Data Management Book of Knowledge (DMBOK) sponsored by DAMA International (DAMA):
- Data Governance
- Data Architecture Management
- Data Development
- Data Operations Management
- Data Security Management
- Reference and Master Data Management
- Data Warehousing and Business Intelligence Management
- Document and Content Management
- Meta Data Management
- Data Quality Management
However, using this structure doesn’t mean that I intend to only present the DAMA view of the data management world. I will also be exploring the MIKE2.0 framework, as well as digging into the Data/Information tracks/phases of the Zachman and TOGAF enterprise architecture frameworks. The DAMA framework is simply a comfortable taxonomy for me on which to organize my writing. And as you can see, there is a lot of ground to cover within this list of topics. I will also likely deviate from time to time into things like Leadership and Business Alignment.
Walking the Walk, not Just Talking the Talk
We’ve all got a limited amount of time to spend on continuous learning. Given that there over 150,000,000 results (as of this writing) from a Google search of Data Management, you’ve obviously got lots of choices. I’ve already told you why data management is important, but why study it with me? Well, I’m a guy in the trenches, just like you, which gives me the same perspective that you have on the data-related problems and issues that plague your company. I too deal with the politics that fuel the corporation with counter-productive energy. I have plenty of scars, but I continue to push forward because, in the end, I want what I do to have added value to the company in some way. I refuse to be just another expense. And after all that, I also have a passion for both sharing knowledge and teaching.
As for the particulars, I am an enterprise data architect with over 25 years of total technology experience. Over 15 years of that has been focused on delivering data warehouse and business intelligence solutions. I have held technical roles, management roles, and technical management roles. Through it all, I’ve learned that long-term success in business intelligence is tightly tied to how well you manage your data. Without the solid foundation of active data management, even for small initiatives, your BI endeavor will ultimately fail.
Finally, I am a real sucker for a good quote. Here are two of my favorite quotes about learning:
Personally, I’m always ready to learn, although I do not always like being taught.
– Sir Winston Churchill
Learning is not compulsory… neither is survival.
– W. Edwards Deming
I try to be fairly active on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. You can use the links in the upper right-hand box of this page to connect with me on any (or all) of those social sites. You can also subscribe to either my RSS feed or my email feed. These are updated whenever I post anything new.
Finally, if you want to contact me with off-post questions, or if you have a specific topic that you would like to suggest for a future post, please feel free to use the “Contact” page to do so.
See you here at DataManagementWonk.com!
You may view any of the various policy pages by clicking on the links below: