DQ-Tip: “An information centric organization...”

Data Quality (DQ) Tips is an OCDQ regular segment.  Each DQ-Tip is a clear and concise data quality pearl of wisdom.

“An information centric organization is an organization driven from high-quality, complete, and timely information that is relevant to its goals.”

This DQ-Tip is from the new book Patterns of Information Management by Mandy Chessell and Harald Smith.

“An organization exists for a purpose,” Chessell and Smith explained.  “It has targets to achieve and long-term aspirations.  An organization needs to make good use of its information to achieve its goals.”  In order to do this, they recommend that you define an information strategy that lays out why, what, and how your organization will manage its information:

  • Why — The business imperatives that drive the need to be information centric, which helps focus information management efforts on the activities that deliver value to the organization.
  • What — The type of information that you must manage to deliver on those business imperatives, which includes the subject areas to cover, which attributes within each subject area that need to be managed, the valid values for those attributes, and the information management policies (such as retention and protection) that the organization wants to implement.
  • How — The information management principles that provide the general rules for how information is to be managed by the information systems and the people using them along with how information flows between them.

Developing an information strategy, according to Chessell and Smith, “creates a set of objectives for the organization, which guides the investment in information management technology and related solutions that support the business.  Starting with the business imperatives ensures the information management strategy is aligned with the needs of the organization, making it easier to demonstrate its relevance and value.”

Chessell and Smith also noted that “technology alone is not sufficient to ensure the quality, consistency, and flexibility of an organization’s information.  Classify the people connected to the organization according to their information needs and skills, provide common channels of communication and knowledge sharing about information, and user interfaces and reports through which they can access the information as appropriate.”

Chessell and Smith explained that the attitudes and skills of the organization’s people will be what enables the right behaviors in everyday operations, which is a major determination of the success of an information management program.


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