Anyone involved in big data knows about the challenges businesses face when it comes to the massive amounts of data that need to be wrangled, tamed and made sense of to stay competitive, meet customer expectations and, increasingly, comply with the law.\nWhile we\u2019re in the \u2018Wild West\u2019 phase of data integration and management \u2013 it\u2019s not even clear who owns the data being generated second on second \u2013 it\u2019s hardly surprising that some CIOs and board members have made IT decisions based on strategies which are not entirely driven by sustainable ideals. So here they are \u2013 the seven deadly sins of enterprise data management:\nLust\nIt\u2019s easy to be swayed by the allure of shiny things \u2013 a new gadget, the latest hi-tech installation, a \u2018miraculous\u2019 virtual reality gimmick. But using budget to paint a pretty veneer on top of your systems without tackling how your underlying data works and connects will give you more problems than solutions. Beacons are a great example \u2013 many retailers have been attracted to the way they can track customer movements, but beyond this very few have a real strategy for using and managing the information.\nGluttony\nWhen you know you need to do something about data but you\u2019re not clear what it is, it\u2019s tempting to go for everything \u2013 introducing new systems and data packages on top of legacy processes and adopting a \u2018more is more\u2019 attitude. This may be a quick fix, rather than going through the painful process of auditing, analysing and assimilating \u2013 but often the result is \u2018all data, no insight\u2019. More information is of no use unless it can be put to work, which means getting systems to communicate and ensuring you have right tools to analyse the data.\nGreed\nWhile the data ownership fine print is still being written, wanting to keep hold of and protect your data is no bad thing. But when it comes at the expense of business opportunity, greed is not good. If you\u2019re unwilling to share information with proven third parties and platforms with the potential to make your business better, your bottom line is going to take a hit.\nSloth\nPossibly the worst sin of all. A surprising number of businesses that should know better have decided to tackle the data issue by burying their heads in the sand and hoping it will go away \u2013 for example, according to research by cloud service provider Calligo, 69% of IT decision makers don\u2019t have board backing for GDPR compliance. After all, it\u2019s hard work building a good, future-proof data management strategy \u2013 if everything\u2019s ticking along, albeit inefficiently, what\u2019s the worst that could happen? The answer is bankruptcy or prosecution.\nWrath\nBusinesses that have been around for a while will have legacy systems that they\u2019re very happy with \u2013 they want to carry on doing things as they\u2019ve always done them. Inertia is a powerful force - business boards will be angry if they\u2019re made to get out of their comfortable rut, ploughed by old-school thinking and patched, mended systems made to work way beyond their original purpose. And decisions made in anger about vital business strategies will not be practical or long-lasting.\nEnvy\n\u2018I want what they\u2019ve got\u2019 can be heard in boardrooms everywhere \u2013 once a competitor takes action, there\u2019s a scramble to catch up. But knee-jerk reactions lead to hasty decisions and implementations which usually turn out to be expensive mistakes down the line. There\u2019s no one-size-fits-all solution for data management \u2013 you need to work out what you want for your own brand, customers and sales colleagues before you commit to a platform for change.\nPride\nWhile others bury their heads in the sand or worry about competitors, some businesses will be thinking \u2018we\u2019ve got this nailed\u2019 \u2013 an equally dangerous assumption. Even the most clued-up data scientist can\u2019t know everything \u2013 as data points multiply, so do systems, platforms and connections, and there\u2019s just no way to anticipate them all. And, when it comes to legislation such as GDPR where the requirements are not crystal clear, it\u2019s important to accept that the approach you start out with needs to adapt and evolve \u2013 document your decisions and justifications but be ready to change when best practice becomes clearer. Pride comes before a fall, as the saying goes - accepting there are \u2018known unknowns\u2019 and being prepared to communicate doubt is the only way to avoid taking a tumble.\n\u2026and one saving grace\nSeven deadly sins and seven ways of thinking, each capable of hampering progress when it comes to managing data. Fortunately, there\u2019s one simple saving grace which can set IT strategists on the right track \u2013 honesty. As soon as you start a truthful dialogue about what you have, what you need and how to bridge the gap, you can rapidly elevate yourself from data sinner to data saint.