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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!

June 2008 Archives

In which Jill introduces the latest and greatest in the cavalcade of BI Network newsletters, the Jill Dyche Data Governance Newsletter. Read it and...then send a link to your boss.

The inaugural edition of my eponymous Data Governance Newsletter is coming out this week. You should read it. You can steal some of the ideas and claim them as your own. You can learn about the concept of Guiding Principles and see how they apply to both data governance and my newsletter. Or just open the link before you scan for new e-mails like you did 5 minutes ago. Or send it to a friend who needs it way more than you do, savvy data professional that you are. Subscribe here.

Technorati tags: Data Governance, data governance newsletter, Jill Dyche Data Governance Newsletter, data governance best practices


Posted June 24, 2008 7:04 AM
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In which Jill wonders how much our business investments are really worth.

You may have seen Baseline's latest YouTube video, one of several in our ongoing Get in the Game series. To film it we took advantage of the actor's strike in L.A. and ended up producing several videos on the cheap. We were pretty proud of our opportunism, which let us deliver a funny and tongue-in-cheek send-up of master data management. The video illustrates how customer identity resolution--a key part of the MDM stack--is a problem that can often be found in your own backyard, as it were.

But Canadian singer Sarah Mclachlan did us one better. Her YouTube video of the song Worlds on Fire asks the question, "What could $150,000 do in the third world?" One hundred street children in Tanzania could attend school, for instance. McLachlan spent even less on her video than we did on ours: $15, to be exact. And what did she do with the rest of the money? Check out the video here.

Technorati tags: Baseline Consulting, Red Rover video, Sarah McLachlan, master data management


Posted June 13, 2008 2:34 PM
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In which Jill leaves the Data Governance conference feeling fresh.

In my last blog I commented that the Wilshire Data Governance Conference in San Francisco was a small-but-quality affair. A couple more highlights:

I saw Gwen Thomas at cocktail hour. Gwen is always interesting both on and off the record. "Architecture is everything," she told me, and I found the claim rich in its simplicity, which was also true of the Bailey's Irish Cream I was drinking. The next day Mike Meier of Olmstead Medical Center joined Gwen to discuss the three Cs of data governance: Community, Communication, and Credibility. Judging from some idle chatter at the conference, "Crazy" should be their fourth C, but who am I to influence content?

I'd mentioned Janine Joseph of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, who'd delivered a great presentation on "Improving Information Integrity Through Data Stewardship." Janine unwittingly made the case for Dan Roam's the new book, The Back of the Napkin, which discusses how to present new ideas with stick figures. Indeed, everything old is new again, which Len Silverston confirmed in his presentation, "The Power of Using Flexible Data Models for MDM."

DataFlux CTO and founder Scott Gidley and yours truly called our presentation "Implementing Data Governance." Truth be told, it used to be called: "From Strategy to Execution" but somehow that got appended to Brian McVay's presentation instead, so we were left with a fairly banal title, which the audience more than made up for.

Scott and I talked about the role of process in data governance, a topic I thought was a bit sparse at the conference. My former Charles Schwab sponsor Chris Stormont was in the audience and shared some of her current war stories. "I wish you would have told me that six months ago!" cried a battle-weary attendee whose boss wanted to prematurely launch a council. (Me: Don't go into the light!) Scott did a great job of describing the evolution of data governance, and someone thanked him for "giving us the 'how' and not just the 'what.'"

I found the attendees engaged and serious. The event validated what I've been saying about data governance: there are different entry points and different ways to launch it, and most of it depends on existing business-IT relationships and company culture.

Hey! Did I mention I'm doing a data governance newsletter for BI Network? Sign up for it here, or miss it when it comes out on June 26.

Technorati tags: Data Governance, Jill Dyche Data Governance Newsletter, data governance process


Posted June 6, 2008 5:00 PM
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In which Jill reports on the data governance weather in San Francisco. (Hint: Clearing fog.)

In a prior blog I bemoaned having to miss Informatica World in Vegas this week. (Regular readers of the Jillblog know that what happens in Vegas gets blogged about almost immediately.) But I feel much better now, since the Wilshire Data Governance Conference in San Francisco has already exceeded my expectations.

Attendance seems to be about double what it was at the last conference. One attendee mused aloud that this was as likely to be due to job-seekers as it was to those actually in the throes of governance planning.

Ever the optimist, I choose to highlight the good stuff. Herewith:

Janine Joseph of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota gave a presentation on "Improving Information Integrity Through Data Stewardship." She echoed what I've said in the past about there being different types of data stewards and no established best practices. "There is no industry standard out there for data stewardship," Janine said, "and I'm also going to say that's not really a problem." She went on to say that in her organization, "data stewardship is not a job description, it's a discipline," which is just as it should be.

Julian Schelbourne from Kaiser Permanente rocked the house with his "Using Collaborative Technology to Transform a Large Enterprise Into a Data Governance Culture"--the word "culture" being the subtext of so many of the hallway and cocktail conversations here at the conference. Julian explained how new business modeling techniques have combined with Wikis (Kaiser has coined the term"Kpedia") and other Web 2.0 developments to make data management more business-focused, and a lot easier.

David Loshin facilitated a rousing Special Interest Group session on the topic of MDM and data governance. Notwithstanding a few testy microphones, Dave had a good crowd of engaged data geeks...er...experts. The vendors were there in force with Oracle's Dave Butler and Siperian's Ravi Shankar weighing in on the challenges of data ownership at companies. Baseline's own Joy Medved gave a from the trenches illustration of the internal and external forces that drive governance decisions.

I also appreciated the trenchant comments from the on-the-ground contingent--people like Jeffrey MacLaren, a Data Analyst at memory technology vendor SanDisk. Jeffrey weighed in on the topic of "top down versus bottom up" data governance: "Our success has revolved around establishing goals and measures," he said, making the point that good data governance can start small and percolate upwards into broader successes.

I speak tomorrow, but there are cocktails tonight so we'll see who ends up showing. I'll blog about it either way.

Oh, and if you're reading this, you might want to sign up for the new Data Governance Newsletter that's coming out next month on BI Network. We'll be serving up some juicy tidbits on data governance every month. If I were you, I'd double down on data governance, Vegas or no Vegas.

Technorati tag: data governance, MDM, CDI, data steward


Posted June 3, 2008 6:35 PM
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