Last month I attended the Data Governance and Information Quality Conference. The conference is known to be the world’s largest event dedicated entirely to data governance and information quality. In addition to an agenda filled with six tracks of conference sessions and tutorial, the conference hosted a technology forum.
There was a fun vibe from the minute the Exhibition Hall first opened on Tuesday afternoon. At the SAS booth, there was a buzz around a fishbowl full of buttons with catchy phrases like, “Govern THIS!”, “Talk Data To Me”, and “I never Metadata I didn’t like!”. Around the corner, the folks from SAP were posing for a group photo in lab coats, supporting their theme of “Data Doctors”. I couldn’t resist the urge to dive in for a photo bomb! SAP was holding Information Governance Clinics. Attendees of the conference were able to sign up for free 15 minute appointment with a “Data Doctor”. In a customized session, they could discuss their specific data governance challenges, get guidance from SAP experts, and get a prescription on how to improve the health of their governance projects.
The energy level was high from the start and that energy carried into the second day. The hall provided a friendly, informative place to meet with vendors and discuss their products and services. The hall featured a variety of vendors showcasing their latest technologies and services available.
One way to learn about the products and services being offered is to attend the data governance and data quality technology sessions. These sessions provided practical application of the exhibitors’ products and how they were used to solve the challenges of their clients. This was also a great way to get a preview of how their products are being used to solve real-world problems. Some of the stories may mirror your own and give you a good starting point for your conversations in the exhibition hall.
If you follow SAP’s “Data Doctors” concept and let the exhibitors know the challenges you are facing, they can discuss how their products can meet your needs. After the conference when you return to your office, you will be in a better position to share what you learned with your colleagues. Many of the sessions mentioned reference materials on Web sites, another good way for you to follow-up after the conference or get more information.
My first pass through was to meet with the exhibitors, and collect product information. This year I made a deliberate point of meeting with each of the vendors to get an understanding of their products and services. If you didn’t make it to the conference, or didn’t spend much time in the Exhibition Hall, here is a sampling of what you missed:
SAP demonstrated end-to-end EIM solutions including modeling, data quality and integration, and master data management. This data management platform enables organizations to take ownership and directly manage business data from all sources, on-premise or in the cloud. An emphasis here was on how SAP EIM solutions help organizations integrate trust into their business operations. SAP’s emphasis was to demonstrate a flexible, integrated suite of applications that can grow with your information governance initiatives for SAP data and non-SAP data.
SAS Institute brought SAS® Data Management solution, built on a data quality platform that helps improve, integrate and govern data. SAS representatives were promoting functionality through business data glossary, security and auditability, reference data manager, data remediation, business rule validation, and data monitoring. Some of the features highlighted include; enhanced data governance with workflow-based remediation, allowing team members to route and resolve data issues within a common user interface, increasing productivity and reducing data quality errors; user interface customization via “MDM Tools” and deep linking to speed decision making, increase collaboration and reduce IT application integration costs; improved multi-domain hierarchy support that visually shows relationships among business entities for improved usability. No matter where your data is stored, SAS Data Management enables business users to update data, tweak processes and analyze results, promoting collaboration and freeing you up for other projects.
Infogix featured a variety of products and services, including their data quality solution, enhanced visibility/dashboard solutions, and strategic services offerings to help customer with data governance and data quality initiatives. Infogix Solutions have been addressing data governance, data quality, and data integrity needs of our customers for over 30 years. Their products are set apart by the flexibility of their business rule capabilities, end-to-end real time monitoring and reporting/analytics of the data within a company’s business process. Infogix Solutions are different, in that they offer a wide breadth of functionality that is customizable to your business process, while providing confidence in your organization’s data. Infogix provides solutions for your data governance process by implementing checks and balances of your data to help eliminate information errors within your organization.
CMMI Institute introduced the Data Management Maturity Model, a comprehensive reference model of best practices across all of the fundamental disciplines of data management. It describes what needs to be done, not how it must be done, making it applicable to all industries and organizations. It is intended to be used as a measurement instrument for data management capabilities, against which organizations can assess their data management programs. The DMM encapsulates virtually all of the important practices and activities that constitute a Governance and Quality program. If an organization is consistently performing the practices, they are doing a good job of managing their data assets. The DMM is the only product of its kind – a comprehensive and detailed set of best practices for twenty fundamental data management disciplines with a built-in gradated path for improvements. It leverages the structure, approach, and model principles of CMMI, which has helped over 10,000 organizations improve productivity, control costs, and increase quality in software development /systems engineering. The product itself – developed over a 3.5 year period with 50+ contributing authors and 70 expert peer reviewers. If you’re in business and have data assets, you need the DMM.
Cambridge Semantics showed off their Anzo Smart Enterprise Data Management Suite, which simplifies the design, development and deployment of reusable Information Services. Smart EDM is being touted as a more sensible approach to data management, contributing to business agility, faster time-to-market, better data quality and compliance. Common conceptual business models are the “data glue” that ties your EDM activities together. Data management with Anzo is more flexible than traditional approaches; changes can be made on the fly without going back to the drawing board. The business models are accessible to business analyst and other domain experts, which significantly speeds up and improves the quality of at integration, data analysis, search, and other bread-and-butter enterprise data activities.
Collibra released version 4.3 of Data Governance Center the week of the conference. Data Governance Center consists of a fully integrated suite including Business Semantics Glossary, Reference Data Accelerator, and Data Stewardship Manager. The big focus for them during the conference was Data Stewardship and automating the process of decision making around data. They were placing a big emphasis on business adoption at the conference. Release 4.3 brings advanced dash-boarding, extended reference data management capabilities, single sign-on, advanced search and many, many more solutions to support the data steward. Collibra proudly proclaims themselves as a business-user-focused Data Governance Software company.
Innovative Systems offerings included data profiling, data quality, address validation, compliance, data integration, data governance, master data management and specific-purpose business applications for solving customer-based needs. The focus here was around providing an alternative approach to lengthy, cost-laden projects, dramatically reducing the time and cost associated with delivering high-quality data. What sets it apart from other products in the industry is their methodologies and the architecture of the products, which allows them to produce high quality data in very short timeframes. Innovative Systems offers the ability to implement a customer MDM with full volumes of data, your entire customer base in less than 6 months due to the underlying architecture in the toolset.
Riversand Technologies Inc. focused on their Master Data Management (MDM) solution, although the core of their platform is the Data Quality Management Reporting module which links PIM, DQ DG and MDM. One single platform means not having to integrate multiple tools. Another feature they were demonstrating was their on-premise and cloud installation. Riversand was sending a very clear message that they are a customer-focused, nimble, competitive, leading multi-domain MDM solution provider with a critical focus on data governance and data quality.
Semarchy was aimed at solving the MDM problem. They do this with what they refer to as “Evolutionary MDM”, meaning to enable organizations to start small and build faster, deliver proof-of-value immediately; and solve Master Data Management issues by enabling ease of access that support the need to make changes as easily as they come. This solution was built from the ground up and is fully integrated. No coding is required. It is non-intrusive to existing processes, making for seamless integration, and fast installation. Semarchy believes that an evolutionary approach to MDM is the answer, where requirements evolve and projects are deployed in short, easy to manage cycles that deliver value iteratively, one step at a time. Their message: Don’t wait! Get going toward implementation immediately!
Teradata Corporation brought their experts to answer questions on data quality and data governance. Teradata and SAS have partnered to deliver an integrated solution to enable in-database data quality that enables the cleansing of large volumes of data, integration of all data sources before loading to the data warehouse and empower executives to make more accurate decisions. The SAS and Teradata Data Quality Advantage Program combine the data warehousing capabilities of Teradata with SAS data quality capabilities for a complete solution. A specialized, proven set of well-defined services can help you get rapid time to value. It’s fast, accurate and reliable – and can power your most important decisions. The benefits are numerous; quickly improve data quality; become more agile; elevate productivity; boost security; and keep costs in check.
Trillium Software highlighted their data quality solution and Data Governance strategic consulting services that help organizations plan and deploy data quality and data governance processes to support business goals. By combining their industry-leading data quality tools with their deep subject matter expertise, they help organizations implement holistic enterprise data management strategies. Trillium is a data quality specialist. They have decades of experience and an extensive library of business rules and processes that can quickly help businesses overcome critical data quality challenges. To bridge the gap between data quality and data governance, Trillium Software and Collibra have formed an alliance that integrates Collibra’s Data Governance Center with the Trillium Software System to offer a complete, best-of-breed and uniquely integrated data governance and data quality solution.
Compact Solutions demonstrated metadata integration from non-traditional sources such as PL/SQL, Teradata, BTEQ, SAS, etc. using their Metadata integration solution, MetaDex, which provides seamless metadata integration between disparate platforms, and their batch testing automation solution, TestDrive, which automates ETL testing tasks, dramatically reducing testing time. TestDrive is the only complete suite to automate testing of big data solutions as well. Compared to mostly manual testing, this can significantly reduce time, cost, and errors in ETL applications and help to deliver trusted information to end users. Compact Solutions testing platform is not product specific, and has the ability to integrate metadata from disparate tools like IBM, INFA, Ab Initio, etc.
There was a definite trend this year with a greater focus toward data governance and information quality as business imperatives. The vendors I spoke with are acutely aware of the need to support this changing dynamic. I always learn something new at this conference and this year didn’t disappoint. I’m already looking forward to the next conference!