This morning at the DataFlux IDEAS 2011 conference, I am participating in the Data Roundtable panel with David Loshin, Joyce Norris-Montanari, Rich Murnane, and Phil Simon. The panel is moderated by Jill Dyché and the topic of discussion is Predictions and Trends for 2012.
This blog post explains my prediction for 2012, but if you don’t agree with me, there’s no need to worry because my blog post from last week explained why most predictions don’t come true.
2012 will be the Year of the Datechnibus
Enterprise initiatives, such as data quality, master data management, and data governance, require cross-functional alignment and multi-directional translation of their data, technology, and business aspects. Historically, this required facilitating the collaboration of people who identified either their group or their individual job responsibilities with only one of those aspects or their related functions.
The catch-all term commonly used to describe this challenge is Business-IT Collaboration, where we had to explain business aspects to the technology folks and technology aspects to the business folks.
The data aspects, and data folks, were often caught in the middle of this perceived organizational divide. Data quality issues often caused bad data blamestorming, where the Business blamed bad data on IT and its technology, and IT blamed bad data on the Business and its business processes.
Discussions about Business-IT collaboration, although done with the best of intentions, can reinforce this perceived divide and its traditional stereotypes. For example, assuming that business people are not proficient with technology, that data geeks are business blind, and that a centralized IT department limits the non-IT adoption of emerging technology, thus encouraging shadow IT efforts and data silos.
But I believe the times are changing, and the time is long overdue for our organizations to change.
Even the terms “the Business” (i.e., a definition of exclusion meaning everyone not working in IT) and “IT” (i.e., the assumption that a single, centralized IT function is the best option) are outdated.
I believe it’s time to stop talking about Business-IT Collaboration, and simply talk about collaboration.
Successful enterprise initiatives require the coordinated management of business processes, data, and technology. Business process management, data management, and technology management are all people-driven activities. Enterprise initiatives reveal how interconnected and interdependent the organization is, and how everything that happens within the organization happens as a result of the collaboration occurring among its people, who when empowered by high quality data and enabled by technology, can optimize business processes for superior corporate performance.
However, I don’t think that this new age of collaboration will occur among people who continue to identify themselves as only a data person, or only a technical person, or only a business person.
In a previous blog post, I described a new “tribrid” species—a data-technical-business person known as a Datechnibus. I think that it is time to define everyone as a Datechnibus — to define everyone as a data-aware, technology-savvy, business person. This will allow us to focus on collaboration without labeling the collaborators by either their group’s business function or their individual job description.
I predict that 2012 will be the Year of the Datechnibus.
Moments in Data Management