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Archive for July, 2015

by: Bsomich
30  Jul  2015

MIKE2.0 Community Update

Missed what’s been happening in the MIKE2.0 data management community this month? Read on!

 

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Data Governance: How competent is your organization?

One of the key concepts of the MIKE2.0 Methodology is that of an Organisational Model for Information Development. This is an organisation that provides a dedicated competency for improving how information is accessed, shared, stored and integrated across the environment.

Organisational models need to be adapted as the organisation moves up the 5 Maturity Levels for organisations in relation to the Information Development competencies below:

Level 1 Data Governance Organisation – Aware 

  • An Aware Data Governance Organisation knows that the organisation has issues around Data Governance but is doing little to respond to these issues. Awareness has typically come as the result of some major issues that have occurred that have been Data Governance-related. An organisation may also be at the Aware state if they are going through the process of moving to state where they can effectively address issues, but are only in the early stages of the programme.
Level 2 Data Governance Organisation – Reactive
  • Reactive Data Governance Organisation is able to address some of its issues, but not until some time after they have occurred. The organisation is not able to address root causes or predict when they are likely to occur. “Heroes” are often needed to address complex data quality issues and the impact of fixes done on a system-by-system level are often poorly understood.
Level 3 Data Governance Organisation – Proactive
  • Proactive Data Governance Organisation can stop issues before they occur as they are empowered to address root cause problems. At this level, the organisation also conducts ongoing monitoring of data quality to issues that do occur can be resolved quickly.
Level 4 Data Governance Organisation – Managed
Level 5 Data Governance Organisation – Optimal

The MIKE2.0 Solution for the the Centre of Excellence provides an overall approach to improving Data Governance through a Centre of Excellence delivery model for Infrastructure Development and Information Development. We recommend this approach as the most efficient and effective model for building these common set of capabilities across the enterprise environment.

Feel free to check it out when you have a moment and offer any suggestions you may have to improve it.

Sincerely,

MIKE2.0 Community

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This Week’s Blogs for Thought:

Anxious About BYOD? Here are Some Tips for Success

Has your organization caved to the pressure of establishing a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy and is now having second thoughts? Making company-wide policy changes and satisfying tech-savvy employees’ desires is just the beginning. Once BYOD is up and running, there are many challenges. The difference between success and failure means addressing key concerns and finding ways to overcome these issues.

Read more.

Are We Missing the Mark with Real-Time Marketing?

If any press is good press, then Totinos can chalk up its latest Super Bowl marketing antics for a win. However, it’s questionable whether the brand will gain any true business value from live-tweeting the game a day early. In fact, marketers should step back and consider whether our obsession with vanity metrics and viral campaigns is distracting us from the true potential of real-time and data-driven marketing.

Read more.

Don’t seek to know everything about your customer

I hate customer service surveys. Hotels and retailers spend millions trying to speed our checkout or purchase by helping us avoid having to wait around. Then they undo all of that good work by pestering us with customer service surveys which take longer than any queue that they’ve worked so hard to remove!
Perhaps I’d be less grumpy if all of the data that organisations spend so much time, much of it ours, collecting was actually applied in a way that provided tangible value. The reality is that most customer data simply goes to waste (I argue this in terms of “decision entropy” in chapter 6 of my book, Information-Driven Business).

Read more.

 

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If you have any questions, please email us at mike2@openmethodology.org

 

 

Category: Information Development
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by: RickDelgado
30  Jul  2015

Enterprise Storage: Keeping Up with the Data Deluge

The increasing demands found in data centers can be difficult for most people to keep up with. We now live in a world where data is being generated at an astounding pace, which has lead to expert coining the phrase “big data.” All that generated data is also being collected, which creates even bigger demands for enterprise data storage. Consider all the different trends currently going around, from video and music streaming to the rise of business applications to detailed financial information and even visual medical records. It’s no wonder that storage demands have risen around 50 percent annually in the past few years, and there appears to be nothing on the horizon that will slow that growth. Companies have reason for concern as current data demands threaten to stretch their enterprise storage to its breaking point, but IT departments aren’t helpless in this struggle. This data deluge can be managed; all that’s needed are the right strategies and technologies to handle it.

It isn’t just the fact that so much new data needs to be stored, it’s that all the data should be stored securely while still allowing authorized personnel to access it efficiently. Combine that with the rapidly changing business environment where needs can evolve almost on a daily basis and the demands for an agile and secure enterprise storage system can overwhelm organizations. The trick is to construct infrastructure that can manage these demands. A well designed storage network can relieve many of the headaches that are generated when dealing with large amounts of data, but such a network requires added infrastructure support.

Luckily, IT departments have many options they can choose from that can meet the demands of the data deluge. One of the most popular at the moment is storage virtualization. This technology basically works by combining multiple network storage devices so that they appear to be only one unit. The components for a virtualized storage system, however, can be a tough decision for companies to make. Network attached storage (NAS), for instance, helps people within an organization access the same data at the same time. Storage area networks (SAN) help make planning and implementing storage solutions much easier. Both carry certain advantages over the more traditional direct-attach storage (DAS) deployments seen in many businesses. DAS simply comes with too many risks and downsides, making it a poor choice when confronting the current data challenges many companies face. Whether choosing NAS or SAN, both can simplify storage administration, an absolute must when storage management has become so complex. They also reduce the amount of hardware needed thanks to converged infrastructure technology.

But these strategies aren’t the only one companies can use to keep up with enterprise storage demands. Certain administrative tactics can be deployed to handle the growing volume and complexity of the current storage scene. Part of that strategy is avoiding certain mistakes, such as storing non-critical data on costly storage devices. There’s also the problem of storing too much. In some cases, business leaders ask IT workers to store multiple copies of information, even when the multiple copies aren’t needed. IT departments need to work closely with the business side of the company to devise the right strategy to avoid these unnecessary complications. By streamlining the process, it can become easier to manage storage.

Other options are also readily available to meet enterprise storage demands. Cloud storage, for example, has quickly become mainstream and comes with attractive advantages, such as easy scalability when businesses need it and the ability to access data from almost anywhere. Concerns over data security have made some businesses reluctant to adopt the cloud, but many cloud storage vendors are trying to address those worries with greater emphasis on security features. Hybrid storage solutions are also taking off in popularity in part because they mix many of the advantages found in other storage options.

With the demands large amounts of data are placing on enterprise storage, IT departments are searching for the answers that can help them keep up with these challenges. The options are there that help meet these demands, but it’s up to companies to fully deploy those solutions. Data continues to be generated at a breakneck pace, and that trend won’t be slowing down anytime soon. It’s up to organizations to have the right strategies and technology in place to take full advantage of this ongoing data deluge.

 

Tags: ,
Category: Enterprise Data Management
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by: Robert.hillard
25  Jul  2015

Don’t seek to know everything about your customer

I hate customer service surveys. Hotels and retailers spend millions trying to speed our checkout or purchase by helping us avoid having to wait around. Then they undo all of that good work by pestering us with customer service surveys which take longer than any queue that they’ve worked so hard to remove!

Perhaps I’d be less grumpy if all of the data that organisations spend so much time, much of it ours, collecting was actually applied in a way that provided tangible value. The reality is that most customer data simply goes to waste (I argue this in terms of “decision entropy” in chapter 6 of my book, Information-Driven Business).

Customer data is expensive

Many years ago, I interviewed a large bank about their data warehouse. It was the 1990s and the era of large databases was just starting to arrive. The bank had achieved an impressive feat of engineering by building a huge repository of customer data, although they admitted it had cost a phenomenal sum of money to build.

The project was a huge technical success overcoming so many of the performance hurdles that plagued large databases of the time. It was only in the last few minutes of the interview that the real issue started to emerge. The data warehouse investment was in vain, the products that they were passionate about taking to their customers were deliberately generic and there was little room for customisation. Intimate customer data was of little use in such an environment.

Customer data can be really useful but it comes at a cost. There is the huge expense of maintaining the data and there is the good will that you draw upon in order to collect it. Perhaps most importantly, processes to identify a customer and manage the relationship add friction to almost every transaction.

Imagine that you own a clothing or electrical goods store. From your vantage point behind the counter you see a customer run up to you with cash in one hand and a product in the other. They look like they’re in a hurry and thrust the cash at you. Do you a) take the cash and thank them; or b) ask them to stop before they pay and register for your loyalty programme often including a username and password? It’s obvious you should go option a, yet so many retailers go with option b. At least the online businesses have the excuse that they can’t see the look of urgency and frustration in their customers’ eyes, it is impossible to fathom why so many bricks-and-mortar stores make the same mistake!

Commoditised relationships aren’t bad

Many people argue that Apple stores are close to best practice when it comes to retail, yet for most of the customer interaction the store staff member doesn’t know anything about the individual’s identity. It is not until the point of purchase that they actually access any purchase history. The lesson is that if the service is commoditised it is better to avoid cluttering the process with extraneous information.

Arguably the success of discount air travel has been the standardisation of the experience. Those who spend much of their lives emulating the movie Up in the Air want to be recognised. For the rest of the population, who just want to get to their destination at the lowest price possible while keeping a small amount of comfort and staying safe, a commoditised service is ideal. Given the product is not customised there is little need to know much about the individual customers. Aggregate data for demand forecasting can often be gained in more efficient ways including third party sources.

Do more with less

Online and in person, organisations are collecting more data than ever about their customers. Many of these organisations would do better to focus on a few items of data and build true relationships by understanding everything they can from these small number of key data elements. I’ve previously argued for the use of a magic 150 or “Dunbar’s number” (see The rule of 150 applied to data). If they did this, not only would they be more effective in their use of their data, they could also be more transparent about what data they collect and the purposes to which they put it.

People increasingly have a view of the value of their information and they often end-up resenting its misuse. Perhaps, the only thing worse than misusing it is not using it at all. There is so much information that is collected that then causes resentment when the customer doesn’t get the obvious benefit that should have been derived. Nothing frustrates people more than having to tell their providers things that are obvious from the information that they have already been asked for, such their interests, family relationships or location.

Organisations that don’t heed this will face a backlash as people seek to regain control of their own information (see You should own your own data).

Customers value simplicity

In this age of complexity, customers are often willing to trade convenience for simplicity. Many people are perfectly happy to be a guest at the sites they use infrequently, even though they have to re-enter their details each time, rather than having to remember yet another login. They like these relationships to be cheerfully transactional and want their service providers to respect them regardless.

The future is not just more data, it is more tailored data with less creepy insight and a greater focus on a few meaningful relationships.

Tags:
Category: Enterprise Data Management, Enterprise2.0, Information Development, Master Data Management
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by: RickDelgado
21  Jul  2015

Anxious About BYOD? Here are Some Tips for Success

Has your organization caved to the pressure of establishing a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy and is now having second thoughts? Making company-wide policy changes and satisfying tech-savvy employees’ desires is just the beginning. Once BYOD is up and running, there are many challenges. The difference between success and failure means addressing key concerns and finding ways to overcome these issues.

 Mobile Device Management

 Security is undoubtedly the most pressing concern with BYOD. Even with a sound policy, the rapidly shifting security landscape is a challenge. The constant updating of devices is, too. You must constantly adapt your threat defenses and corporate policies. Mobile Device Management (MDM) provides many benefits, including a centralized view of data stored on devices. There are many cases of unhappy employees misusing sensitive information or hackers accessing vulnerable mobile networks. The safest approach is when administrators can see the first signs of a breach and take action.

An MDM system provides access control and monitoring of corporate data. Information on a stolen or lost device can be immediately erased. Mobile apps have caused challenges of their own. Many of them collect personal data and store them in the cloud. An important feature to look for is Mobile Application Management, which keeps track of all the apps on your mobile network and even blocks ones known to be particularly risky.

 Vendor Managed Services

 Not every company employs the most needed talent. A cost-effective way to offset this imbalance is to pursue vendor managed services. Consulting organizations have emerged in the mobile era and employ the technology, tools, and methods to efficiently manage data. DataXoom, a mobile virtual network operator, provides MDM, asset management, and even assistance with procuring the best hardware and software. The ultimate goal is to manage the financial cost of bring your own device and managing data on and accessed by mobile devices.

Stay Compliant

Compliance with the latest standards is essential for keeping BYOD in your company. The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard 3.0 is one you should be following. It provides guidelines and testing procedures related to building a secure network, protecting cardholder data, and implementing effective access control. Also covered are monitoring and testing and maintaining an information security policy that includes all devices, systems, and personnel. The PCI DSS 3.0 standard is also a guideline for internal and external auditors.

Fine Tune Your Policy

A BYOD policy isn’t static. It needs to adapt to changing security risks and company requirements. For the policy to work, you need to identify what devices are permitted on the network, and control information access down to the individual device. Administrators also need to think about password complexity, screen locking, and other security measures.

Other elements of your policy should outline how technical support operates. Also include permitted apps and rules for acceptable websites, materials, and how all of these are monitored. In addition to governing usage, your leaders should also have a plan for what happens when an employee leaves the company. Do they return the phone or do you just remove access to email, company apps, and data?

Some organizations have resorted to a Choose Your Own Device (CYOD) policy. Users are issued corporate owned devices. They may or may not have a pick from approved products. This gives the company more control over compliance and security, while it pays all costs related to the device.

What about Privacy?

Today’s employees have been outspoken about their rights to have personal data on the same device as their work. The challenge is businesses must protect their mobile networks against unauthorized use. Employer access rules have drawn controversy amongst IT policy drafters. While work-related data could be subject to legal investigations down the road, personal information would be exposed as well. The level of control over personal data has been less than ideal for many workers. Yet, privacy matters still need to be addressed.

Conclusion

These are just a few of the main issues regarding corporate BYOD. Implementing the policy takes work, but continual monitoring and adjustments are required for a successful mobile device policy. That means your company and stakeholders must adjust to change. Security challenges, compliance requirements, employee sentiment, and the devices themselves will certainly be in flux in the years to come.

Tags:
Category: Enterprise Data Management
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by: Jonathan
09  Jul  2015

Are We Missing the Mark with Real-Time Marketing?

If any press is good press, then Totinos can chalk up its latest Super Bowl marketing antics for a win. However, it’s questionable whether the brand will gain any true business value from live-tweeting the game a day early. In fact, marketers should step back and consider whether our obsession with vanity metrics and viral campaigns is distracting us from the true potential of real-time and data-driven marketing.

 

Mainstream real-time marketing

 

In short, real-time marketing normally referred to as the practice of engaging audiences with content that is relevant to a specific current event. For most brands, this content often takes the shape of “memes” shared through social media channels.

 

While Totinos’ day-early tweets were revealed to be a gimmick, initially many thought the company had made a significant real-time gaffe. Pre-written tweets in an attempt to be clever reflect organizations’ desire to streamline their marketing using a pre-determined formula. Better brands understand that real-time marketing has to be organic with an understanding of the target-market. Oreo’s real-time tweet during the power outage of Super Bowl XLVII was held up as a genius example of real-time marketing. While brand engagement certainly has its place, true real-time marketing that has a long-term impact on ROI is much less sexy than a clever tweet in front of a large audience.

 

Where real-time marketing started

 

While many might associate real-time marketing with the rise of big data analytics and social media, the term rose to popularity well before social media marketing and data collection took off. In fact, the term first surfaced back in 2005. Back then it wasn’t about “memes” and on-the-spot tweets, but instead web personalization.

 

Initially, big brands wanted to find ways to personalize their website experiences in real-time. However, the technology and software weren’t at that level, and any solutions were often expensive and not all that great. This eventually led to customized email marketing approaches and other methods, while web personalization was put on the backburner. Fast forward to today, that element has all but expired with more effort being placed on social media.

 

Missing the mark and taking the easy road

 

This is precisely where most organizations are missing the mark. Sure, Oreo’s Super Bowl tweet was amazing and produced a tremendous amount of engagement, but as mentioned earlier, real-time marketing isn’t designed for engagement. It’s meant for finding ways to create substantial long-term impacts on ROI. But that’s hard, just as it was in 2005 with web personalization. People would rather take the easy way out and point to massive amounts of social impressions instead of using data and real-time analysis to produce more value in other areas. That needs to change.

 

Where can real-time marketing be implemented

 

There are a number of different marketing approaches that stand to benefit from a real-time approach. Here are just a few examples to get your creative juices flowing.

 

  1. Customized landing pages

 

What was difficult back in 2005 is becoming a lot easier today. E-commerce sites have made the most of this, by allowing users to create personal profiles, and then offering items based on searches in real-time. This may be more difficult for other sites, but not impossible. Creating personalized landing pages based on devices used or user preferences is becoming increasingly common. Real-time abilities allow programs to make these changes on the fly, reacting to clicks and searches almost instantly.

 

  1. Location-based marketing

 

Thanks to mobile technology, primarily smartphones, and their built-in location services, marketers have the ability to tailor messages based on area like never before. For example, if users are near Wal Mart or Target, promotions could be pushed to their devices via notifications. Marketers can also use the technology to see where users shop most often, or use in-store beacons to attract shoppers. By utilizing real-time capabilities, marketers can craft individualized offers and have them activated at the right moment, when users are likely to act.

 

  1. Multi-channel marketing

 

The path to making a purchase is becoming increasingly more complex. In times past, it simply involved a trip to the local store or maybe a catalogue. Today, it often includes visiting websites, browsing social media accounts, and viewing mobile sites. In order to meet the demands, brands are forced to customized approaches for each of their channels, allowing tailored marketing efforts for each channel, while still maintaining a seamless approach as users jump from one to the other. Real-time analytics can provide organizations with constant details about which channels they’re using, and what they’ll respond best to in order to increase conversion rates.

 

Category: Information Development
No Comments »

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