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Should we create a long-term data management plan?

Find out if it makes sense to create a long-term data management plan and learn what areas you should invest in, including data mining and BI tools and data quality.

We are a small non-profit specialty healthcare organization (Staff 20 with 1 IT administrator). We have been charged...

with developing a "long-term" data management plan for the course of 5-10 years. Is this feasible with the forever changing world of IT/data management and, if so, are there templates available we can follow?

As much as I like to be proactive, who can say what data types will exist then, much less how we can store them. For example, can anyone say with a straight face that they predicted the rise of unstructured data in blogs back in 1999? I don't see how you can plan that far in advance.

While I can't predict the future, I suspect that the rise of blogs, wikis and other collaborative tools will further increase the amount of data. Fortunately, storage is cheap these days. Get plenty of storage, and then get some more.

Find senior people who understand data quality, data governance and data profiling. Simply storing more data is pretty pointless. It has to be good data.

Finally, invest in data mining and business intelligence (BI) tools that will allow you to turn your data into information and, ultimately, into knowledge.

This was last published in December 2009

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