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Jill Dyché

There you are! What took you so long? This is my blog and it's about YOU.

Yes, you. Or at least it's about your company. Or people you work with in your company. Or people at other companies that are a lot like you. Or people at other companies that you'd rather not resemble at all. Or it's about your competitors and what they're doing, and whether you're doing it better. You get the idea. There's a swarm of swamis, shrinks, and gurus out there already, but I'm just a consultant who works with lots of clients, and the dirty little secret - shhh! - is my clients share a lot of the same challenges around data management, data governance, and data integration. Many of their stories are universal, and that's where you come in.

I'm hoping you'll pour a cup of tea (if this were another Web site, it would be a tumbler of single-malt, but never mind), open the blog, read a little bit and go, "Jeez, that sounds just like me." Or not. Either way, welcome on in. It really is all about you.

About the author >

Jill is a partner co-founder of Baseline Consulting, a technology and management consulting firm specializing in data integration and business analytics. Jill is the author of three acclaimed business books, the latest of which is Customer Data Integration: Reaching a Single Version of the Truth, co-authored with Evan Levy. Her blog, Inside the Biz, focuses on the business value of IT.

Editor's Note: More articles and resources are available in Jill's BeyeNETWORK Expert Channel. Be sure to visit today!

In which Jill expresses gratitude to attendees of the CDI Executive Summit, and gives a rundown of some of the hotter Q&A topics.

The DataFlux CDI Executive Summit series--courtesy of DataFlux and our friends at BI Network--has come to an end, and it was a great ride. We had engaged audiences in San Jose and Dallas, and New York was the icing on the proverbial cheesecake. (Preferably Junior's cheesecake.)

With over 85 signups, the New York crowd was the largest. My fellow speakers--Tony Fisher and Michael McQuaid from DataFlux, and Jack Wallace and Peter Harvey from Intellidyn--got a lot of earnest and enthusiastic questions from the attendees. Indeed, they were representative of the questions across the Summit series, and so I thought I'd briefly recap a few of the hotter ones:

Question: Isn't CDI just another flavor of data warehousing and data marts?
Short Answer: No. Data warehouses and data marts are typically used for business intelligence and complex analytics, whereas CDI serves a range of operational and analytical systems.

Question: Isn't CDI just an ODS?
Short Answer: No. CDI has data matching and standardization "baked in" to its functionality, whereas an ODS is often only as good as the data coming from its sources. At lunch we determined that most of the attendees who had an ODS were using it as a data staging area.

Question: What role do business processes play in CDI?
Short Answer: A company should understand its business processes in order to know its business rules, and business rules--like the determination of an "active" customer as an account holder who has made a purchase within the last 18 months--can make or break a CDI effort. Simply put, the relevance and accuracy of data on a CDI hub can be critical to a number of systems. Also, business processes figure heavily into the determination of CDI data sources.

Question: Since it serves various operational systems, should CDI be owned by IT?
Short answer: The business should always be involved in the building of the CDI hub, and ultimately the data stewardship should happen on the business side too. (Who better than the people who understand how customer data is used and where?) The development and maintenance of the hub can be done by IT, but regular collaboration with the business side is imperative for CDI success. As with data warehousing, IT owns the care and feeding of CDI, but doesn't manage the data.

Thanks to those of you who attended the CDI Executive Summits. We think these conversations were icebreakers, and there will be many more opportunities to dialog about CDI and MDM. So stay tuned to the blog--there may be some command performances on the way!


Posted June 17, 2006 12:45 PM
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