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Day in the life of a Gartner analyst at Symposium (day 2)

by Andrew White  |  October 8, 2013  |  1 Comment

5.30am up and about- checking on the wife and kids.  Cleared emails.  Continued to work on a thread with Ted Friedman and Eric Thoo regarding the differences and similarities between data integration and application integration.  We are closing in on an agreement- little difference in actuality even if the vendors describe large differences.  This will lead to further questions. 

6.50am breakfast over in the Dolphin.  Bacon this morning.  Shame- I liked the sausages of yesterday.  Bumped into Bill Swanton who covers application strategy. I asked him about my favorite question for Gartner- what is the difference between DI and AI?  He laughed.  He knew already the point I was making.  Funny how two old ERP, or more precisely, SCM’ers, get this problem quick.  We talked about the challenges of focusing on too narrow a segment of the market in the interests of detail.  Also bumped into another analyst who was looking at utilities, and specifically that industries’ Common Information Model.  Turns out Bill Swanton used to lead the utilities research over at AMR Research (before Gartner acquired them) and I have bumped into the utility CIM due to my interactions with the same utility companies relating it to Master data Management.  Master data sits at the center of the Common Information Model for utilities. 

7.20am back in the work room, heads down on more emails.  Need to book flights for two briefings coming up in Sacramento (later in October) and New Jersey (November). Worked on finishing up the decks: an updated EIM strategy deck, spanning new opportunities, new rules, and new challenge, with a big focus on why IM strategy needs to be refreshed. The second pitch is on ‘how to build and sustain an effective EIM strategy’.

8am today’s 1-1 commence.  Here’s a rundown on day two:

  • industry segments on order of size, largest first: healthcare, banking, public sector/services, manufacturing, retail
  • most common question for the event so far: How to determine what data, where in the business, and to what level in the organization, should we govern information for better business outcomes?

This key question masks some detail:

  • majority of firms have, or will have a pressing need for effective MDM.  Even those that came with a question about content and it’s governance, master data plays a role
  • majority of firms struggle with selling the work of governance to business
  • understanding where to start and then later, how to go beyond MDM
  • how to introduce a real program around governing metadata without mentioning that word
  • what organization structure and roles are needed to make IG work well

12.20pm quick snack bar for lunch.  Walk around the show floor.  Said ‘hello’ to a few vendors.  Clear email.

1pm inquiry on the phone with a client from the noisy 1-1 pavilion.  Talked about the growth of MDM, the rise of ‘Big data and MDM’, and what’s next.  I think TIM is next.

1.30pm. 1-1’s start up for the afternoon. Questions continues around how MDM is ‘growing up’ towards EIM and being re purposed for other data types, even content.  The unspoken truth about metadata and its management, being the key to EIM.  Some end users explaining their understanding of MDM and how it is not about data integration to a warehouse for BI, but more about application integration and the early life cycle of (business valued) data.  Interestingly several new conversations about IT as a shared service, trying to build a big-data-based service offering to go to market to sell to others, outside of their core customer (their business user). 

One 1-1 asked me “what goes into an effective EIM strategy?”  We explored what appears to be a simple question.  We postulated several assumptions and guidance we would assume:

  • all information has a single author (even if we didnt recognize them)
  • some information is more important than others (even if we didnt know this)
  • every user today “does” their own information governance, so the work is duplicated, not coordinated, overlapping, and selfish
  • we won’t govern as well every piece of information

This was an exicting 1-1 since this may lead to some “charter” work for EIM.  What do you think?

6.10pm last 1-1 ends and I rush over for a drink with another customer that could not schedule a 1-1.  Great chat.  I want to go visit with them and help them for day to get IG sorted out and up and running.  They are not too far from home.  Maybe I can spend some time with them.  Hope so. dinner with another client and some EITL Gartner folks.  Good conversation, good wine.  And a client I have worked with off and on for several years, making great progress.  Their business believes they did MDM some years ago (it was more about hierarchy maintenance for BI) and now that they are really tackling MDM, the new product is being called Data Governance.  Watch out – TIM is coming!

9.30pm back to the hotel room to clear out a few emails.  Too tired to touch research tonight or document review.  Need to catch up tomorrow.  Also last minute work on a magic quadrant is waiting for me.  Too little time in the day to get done what needs to get done.  Tomorrow.

10.55pm bed – though I wanted to read more of my “Average is Over” but that will have to wait.


Additional Resources

Category: bpm  business-process-management-bpm  business-rules  business-strategy  chief-data-officer  content-governance  dark-data  data-and-analytics-strategies  data-governance  data-stewardship  enterprise-content-management-ecm  enterprise-information-management-eim  gartner-itexpo  gartner-symposium-2013  governance  information-architecture  information-governance  information-leadership  information-management  information-stewardship  information-trust  master-data-management  mdm  

Andrew White
Research VP
8 years at Gartner
22 years IT industry

Andrew White is a Distinguished Analyst and VP. His roles include Chief of Research and Content Lead for Data and Analytics. His main research focus is data and analytics strategy, platforms, and governance. Read Full Bio

Thoughts on Day in the life of a Gartner analyst at Symposium (day 2)

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