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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 gets a bit of Eastern wisdom with her Number 18 (eggplant, tomato, and feta on a pita).

"Why does it take us so long to get all these emerging technologies right?" asked my friend and erstwhile client as we tucked into a hearty New York lunch at the Longwood Gourmet deli on 44th and Park Avenue.

"Maybe we're supposed to learn it first," I said, "before we do anything Big with it."

"Don't get all Zen on my ass," he said, and bit into his Number 29 (grilled chicken with Mozzarella and basil on a hoagie).

But he's right. Once management approves the investment and we write our favorite vendor the check, there's a built-in expectation of quick delivery. The proof-of-concept has become a given with most technology acquisitions, irrespective of its appropriateness. But then what? Often, it's business as usual.

My friend had a point. His company needed CDI and he had the budget for it. He realized that CDI was a disruptive technology, would be perceived as a threat by some of his IT colleagues, and that it would require changes to both organization and infrastructure. He knew that CDI would help his company in its M&A frenzy: as it gobbled up smaller competitors, the myriad newfound customer lists languished on various servers. Lost cross-selling opportunities were costing the company untold revenues. My friend also understood CDI's promise in addressing poor data quality, a corporate phenomenon that had actually pervaded the culture. (Those of you who work at companies with bad data know what I mean.) He was also hoping that he could use CDI to justify the role of Data Steward for corporate customer information, and that he could start formalizing data management development processes.

Unlike many of my clients who face off with colleagues, their business cases their weapons and IT budget the spoils, my friend had the funding. He had a vision for what could be accomplished, the battles that could be fought and won for the greater good of the firm. He had the heavy artillery, he just needed a few more weapons for the salvo. It was just that his leadership, namely IT management, refused to fall on its sword for change.

Posted June 8, 2006 11:18 PM
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