A More Scalable Approach to Data Management

The need for repeatable and agile data management is clear as organizations embrace a new generation of analytics capabilities

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Strategic CIOs understand that successful digital transformation requires next-generation analytics capabilities that allow them to unleash the power of big data across the organization. Those advanced capabilities require repeatable, scalable, and agile data management.

For data to drive the business, CIOs need to tear down data silos as a first step toward changing how businesses think about how they collect, store, share, and use information.

“We can’t keep forecast data locked up in one place, sales data in another, customer support data somewhere else and marketing’s data tucked somewhere else,” Informatica SVP and CIO Graeme Thompson wrote in a recent blog post. “We must move past silos, past data as a secondary (at best) consideration.”

Setting the Stage

The concept of master data management (MDM) is not new. CIOs have been struggling with ways to create a single source of the truth for a decade or more. The methodologies behind MDM have evolved significantly, however. Informatica describes MDM as a collection of solutions including data integration, data quality, business process management, and security with the goal of creating:

  1. A single view of the data: One authoritative view of business-critical data, even if that data has disparate, duplicate, and conflicting information.    
  2. A 360-degree view of the relationships: Business rules that let those working with the data to identify relationships within it.
  3. A comprehensive view of interactions: An integrated set of all interactions with an individual record that collectively provide a complete view of that customer.

Dun & Bradstreet’s Scott Taylor says master data “is the most important data you have. It is about the products you make and services you provide, it is the customers you sell to, it is the vendors you buy from. It is the basis of your business and commercial relationships.”

That’s why CIOs need to embrace MDM as a cornerstone of their digital transformation efforts. Repeatable, scalable, and agile data management will fuel next-generation analytics to help businesses identify and capture new opportunities. As Graeme Thompson noted in his blog post, “Successful CIOs are focused on secure access to all the data, no matter where it sits, ensuring it’s not only high quality, it is also reliable, trusted, in a format that can be used and reused; even for purposes we haven’t thought of yet.”

That’s the approach taken by the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Its Moon Shots Program, launched in 2012, brought together large multi-disciplinary clinical and research teams to make substantial inroads against different forms of cancer, improving survival and quality of life for cancer patients.

To fuel the program, MD Anderson created a single source of hugely disparate longitudinal patient data, operational data, and genomic data to power insight discovery, clinical decision support, and business analytics. By aggregating clinical, research, and genomic data, then ensuring its reliability and accessibility, MD Anderson has improved its ability to collect and analyze patient samples to determine genetic signatures of disease.

“The whole idea with big data is to begin to pull together an understanding of the genome along with the patient’s clinical care,” said Dr. John Frenzel, Chief Medical Information Officer at MD Anderson. “If we understand the biochemical basis for different tumor types, we can apply the appropriate therapy to each patient.”

Now that’s powerful.

For more on how CIOs are leading data-driven transformation, visit https://www.informatica.com/CIO.