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Colin White article on BI in a recession

25 March 2009

Colin White wrote an article last week for BeyeNetwork, Can Enterprise Data Warehousing and Master Data Management Projects Survive the Recession? , following up from a blog he wrote at the end of last year.

I totally agree with his comment that "the solutions that will have the most impact in 2009 will be those that offer quick and low-cost approaches that help organizations reduce costs and enable business users to become more productive and self-sufficient."  It is in line with our experience that the BI initiatives being funded these days are project oriented, quick wins that deliver real value to the person funding it.

I am not so convinced that data quality or master data management projects are winners in a recession.    There are thousands of data warehouses and data marts built using WhereScape RED, and I am sure they could all benefit from cleaner source data.   In our experience, however, data quality projects are falling into the nice-to-have, no-money-for-it-now, maybe-next-year bucket.  I like Colin's ideas on providing a data quality value or score, a number of our customers already do this, but in most cases it turns out to be of limited value - the users are all too aware of the problems with their own data and already provide their own filters.

While I am on a roll, talking about data quality and data warehousing in the same sentence always worries me.  If no one in the business cares enough to fix up data, why should the data warehouse team?  Especially when they are often not funded for it, it is the wrong place to fix any problems, and it delays the project...end of soapbox.


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