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Savvy organizations are realizing that because of poor data management, new business opportunities are lost, operational costs have increased and servicing their client base has become quite difficult.
In order to survive in this new century, only those initiatives that are driven by a solid foundation of good data will work. Some initiatives are driven by threats, such as more intense, faster competition and new legislation; some are driven by opportunities: enterprise portals, new content management systems, the analytical possibilities of business intelligence, enterprise search, and databases brought together by service-oriented architecture (SOA) or mergers and acquisitions. Organizations that aspire to high performance are realizing that in order to get good data and keep it at the required level, data management and architecture must be more than just hardware and software; they need to form a holistic strategy drawing on the right processes, people and technology. Effective data management improves an organization's ability to respond quickly to changing market conditions, reduces operating costs and takes advantage of new business opportunities.
Accenture's framework divides data management and architecture into six domains:
Through mergers and acquisitions, global expansion and outsourcing, the landscape of an organization is constantly changing. Faced with global compliance and regulatory issues, businesses need a sound data governance approach to address the increasing demand for formalized policies and procedures that guide the overall management of the enterprise data.
As the amount of both structured and unstructured data generated continues to rise exponentially, there is an increasing need for data structure to establish an effective way to organize data at all levels from corporate data models down to individual systems. Through data architecture, processes, information systems and employee teams are empowered to organize, transfer and store this growing asset. In addition, organizations that have traditionally operated in a decentralized structure are constantly dealing with the need to relearn or understand how information is classified and described throughout the various business units. Master data management (MDM) uses master data and metadata to consolidate the values and definitions that describe overall business information to make the data consistent across the enterprise.
Organizations of all kinds make decisions and service customers based on the data they have at their disposal. Data that is inaccurate, out of date and inconsistent is pervasive and costly to an enterprise. Customers, suppliers, distributors and employees are negatively impacted through poor service, billing errors and inconvenience. Data quality problems are exacerbated in large organizational databases where information is collected from multiple data sources. Organizations should seek not only to improve data accuracy, but should also consider the impact data security has on protecting vital information from unauthorized access, viewing, modifications or deletion, whether accidental, intentional or malicious.
Simply put, data management and architecture entails the establishment and deployment of roles, responsibilities, policies and procedures concerning the acquisition, maintenance, dissemination and disposition of data. A partnership between the business and technology groups is essential for any data management effort to succeed.
Combining world-class data management and architecture capabilities with in-depth knowledge of clients' industries, Accenture Information Management Services can address both the technical and business side of a comprehensive solution. Since the early 1990s, we have helped hundreds of organizations transform the way they use information to drive their businesses to higher levels of performance. Our Data Management & Architecture practice provides a structured, holistic approach with offerings and assets to support our clients in managing their data. Our expertise in database technology and data management goes back even farther—to the late 1970s—when we helped clients with managing data storage, access and security.
Read Data Management and the Journey to High Performance to learn more about achieving excellence in data management and architecture and visit our Data Management & Architecture home page.
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