We live in a time of data. Given that, it constantly surprises me how badly so many organisations manage the stuff.

In particular, most organisations find themselves today with silos of information across multiple systems that don’t quite match up; data integrity issues where slight variations exist from system to system, but then more pernicious semantic issues where ostensibly the same elements are represented in different ways across different systems which often represent different organisational functions.

This constantly surprises people, but, for example, what a finance person means by a “customer” is totally different from that concept held in Sales. These differences then replicate across system silos, and so the data doesn’t quite integrate.

Data integration across systems isn’t just a matter of a technical layer – it’s also about having some sort of architectural governance function that helps to manage meaning within a business. That’s really conceptual, esoteric stuff that can be really hard to justify when it comes to defining and filling roles. To be a data-excellent company, though, it’s essential.

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I’ve recently launched Stamp London’s first physical product – a set of playing cards called CIO Priorities. You can find out more about them here, and order a set for yourself here (or simply download the PDF and print them out).

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