Speaker Spotlight Column: Michael F. Jennings on Data Governance and Master Data

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edw2013-speaker-spotlightby Charles Roe

DATAVERSITY™ recently interviewed Michael F. Jennings, the Senior Director of Enterprise Data Architecture at Walgreens. Mike will be giving two sessions at the Enterprise Data World 2014 Conference in Austin, Texas from April 27 – May 1, 2014. His first session (a tutorial) is titled “A Practical Approach to Implementing a Data Governance Program” and will be co-presented with Anne Marie Smith, the Principal Consultant at Alabama Yankee Systems, LLC. His second session is titled “Applied Approach to Mastering a Data Domain.”

The Speaker Spotlight Column (and its parallel venture the Sponsor Spotlight Column) is an ongoing project that focuses on highlighting several of the central issues represented at the many Data Management conferences produced by DATAVERSITY.

The primary emphasis of the interview was to question Michael F. Jennings on his work and history within the industry, with particular importance on his presentation at the upcoming conference:

DATAVERSITY (DV): What are you going to discuss during your session at EDW14, and what will the audience gain from attending your talk? (Please be specific about one or two issues you’ll be addressing and the benefits the audience will obtain).

Michael F. Jennings (MFJ): The conference session will describe real world methods and lessons learned for establishing a Master Data program that is focused on obtaining business value and results for an organization. I will describe some of the foundational Data Management components needed to get a Master Data program going and some of the common hurdles these types of initiatives typically face in an enterprise. Use cases will include Walgreens and other companies.

I will also be co-presenting a tutorial will Anne Marie Smith (a.k.a. Dr. Smith) titled, “A Practical Approach to Implementing a Data Governance Program” on Monday morning, April 28.

DV: What is really important about such a topic in terms of the current state of Data Management and / or how the industry going to transform moving into the future?

MFJ: Many organizations struggle with organizing an Enterprise Master Data program or only implement one at a business area level depriving the organization the overall value of consistent, accurate, and timely core data across the omni-channel in a fast and ever changing completive market place.

DV: Please tell us a little about yourself and your history in the industry, past work experience, and how you got started in the data profession?

MFJ: I have more than twenty-five years of Data Architecture and Information Management experience in various industries. I spent the first half of my career working with government clients before moving to the commercial side as both a consultant and corporate employee.  My roles have included everything from DBA, data modeler, data warehouse architect, to various Data Management executive positions. The focus of all roles I have held at various companies has been Data Management functions.

DV: What is the biggest challenge happening in your particular area of Data Management at this time?

MFJ: The rapid speed of business data needs (access, integration, types, volume, delivery methods) both from an operational and analytic perspective in order to be competitive in an ever evolving market place.

DV: How is such a change influencing your job?

MFJ: This challenge requires continuous adaptation and innovation to our data strategy, data architecture, methods, and plans to be innovative.

DV: Are there any other emerging technologies you predict will affect your job function in the future?

MFJ: Data Visualization, Data Virtualization, Big Data, and prescriptive analytics technology methods and tools all play a role in the future.

DV: What’s your favorite “Data” or “Data Management” quote?

MFJ: Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored,” Aldous Huxley,

DV: How do you explain what you do for work, at a cocktail party, or to your grandparents?

MFJ: I typically tell people who ask I work with corporate data architectures and applications, which usually ends up categorizing me as working with computers.


If you are interested in attending Michaels’ sessions at EDW2014, please see the conference schedule at: http://edw2014.dataversity.net/agenda.cfm?confid=79&scheduleDay=PRINT

His first session, the tutorial with Anne, is on Monday, April 28th at 8.30am. His second session is on Tuesday, April 29th at 11.15am.

About Enterprise Data World:

Enterprise Data World is the business world’s most comprehensive educational event about data and information management. Over five days, EDW presents a diverse schedule of programming that addresses every level of proficiency, including keynotes, workshops, tutorials, case studies, and discussions.

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