What is Data Management?

data managementData Management is a comprehensive collection of practices, concepts, procedures, processes, and a wide range of accompanying systems that allow for an organization to gain control of its data resources. Data Management as an overall practice is involved with the entire lifecycle of a given data asset from its original creation point to its final retirement, how it progresses and changes throughout its lifetime through the internal (and external) data streams of an enterprise.

The Data Management Book of Knowledge (DMBOK) refers to Data Management (or Data Resource Management) as:

“The development and execution of architectures, policies, practices and procedures that properly manage the full data lifecycle needs of an enterprise.” As well as, “The planning, execution, and oversight of policies, practices and projects that acquire, control, protect, deliver, and enhance the value of data and information assets.”

Data Operations Management is also a central function of the entire Data Management Framework and is:

“The development, maintenance and support of structured data to maximize the value of the data resources to the enterprise. Data operations management includes two sub-functions: database support and data technology management.”

While the above definition says structured data, the definition needs to be expanded to include semi-structured and unstructured data that now exists due to the rise of such contemporary Data Management trends like Big Data, Cloud Computing, Machine Learning, Data Lakes, and the Internet of Things

The practice of Data Management includes an extensive list of associated and related topics which span the entire process of managing and leveraging data at all levels. A short list of these includes:

  • Data Governance and Data Stewardship
  • Data Architecture
  • Data Modeling
  • Data Quality Management
  • Master and Reference Data Management
  • Data Warehousing
  • Big Data
  • Business Intelligence and Analytics
  • Metadata Management
  • Data Security Management
  • Content Management

A well-developed Data Management program within an organization has the ability to positively affect change around the administration and use of data assets across all levels, departments, lines of business. The benefits of Data Management include improvements operations management, more effective marketing and sales, better regulation and compliance controls, enhanced security and privacy, reduction of risk across the board, faster application and system development, improved decision making and reporting, sustained business growth, business and technical alignment, automated and/or streamlined operations, greater collaboration, revenue growth, more consistency across all enterprise processes, and numerous others.


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