What do you integrate first? I got hit with that question from a client the other day. What a good question! I like to start the new year by doing the following prior to January 1:
- Review ALL existing projects for enhancements with integrated data. Analyze whether an integrated store of data could help this project make it to production faster, and smarter.
- Review ALL NEW projects for the next year, and look for low-hanging fruit (“low-hanging fruit” meaning projects that use the same subject areas or data sources). This allows you a more comprehensive look at the complexity of the data integration and quality required to be successful on these projects. As well as, STEP 1 in a master data management and data governance initiative.
- Make sure EACH and EVERY project plan (e.g. talking with project managers) addresses data quality and integration the SAME way. For example, make sure each project is not doing its own pull of data. Instead, create an interface environment where data gets pulled one time and then use it many times – OR, better yet, start governing this data and implementing an MDM initiative. The trick here is to implement without being the bottleneck of the project, and piggyback on these projects to get where you want to be – with organized, clean, integrated corporate data.
I wish you luck with this in 2013. I predicted that data integration and quality would still be an issue next year, and I think we have only touched the tip of the iceberg.