20 Data Management Issues, Truisms, and Proverbs

Having many years of experience and working on literally almost 100 projects over my career, I believe I have learned to be skeptical and cynical of all aspects of a technology project.  Being skeptical has served me and my clients well because it forces further analysis to get to the truth.  Below are some of the things you should evaluate as you begin any new project or technology.

  1. Management’s initial expectations are always too ambitious; beware of promising too much too soon.
  2. The ambitious project schedule is too short and should be increased by at least 30%.
  3. Everything will be fixed in the second phase or version of the project.
  4. The first version of the software will only have 80% of the functionality users requested because requirements changed during the long development.
  5. System, database, or application design by large committees never works.
  6. Data column definitions will take at least four hours for every department involved in its definition and usage.
  7. The new consultant or college graduate developer doesn’t know all, and the new unproven open source product won’t provide the program functionality faster.
  8. If allowed, every development environment programmer will define an index for their process.
  9. The first phase of a new replacement application will only have 85% of the original systems functionality.
  10. The cutting edge software will have your required enhancement or fix in the next release—maybe.
  11. Each department will likely report data figures differently and/or have different totals from the same source.
  12. The data quality issues expand exponentially as copies of the data proliferate.
  13. Data quality will degrade 4% for every source integrated into a new application.
  14. Data integration is a complex and detailed painstaking task that management doesn’t understand.
  15. Application enforced referential integrity will be removed by the programmer uninformed of the integrity requirements or for performance reasons during software maintenance.
  16. Analytics and reports contradicting executive viewpoints will be ignored or cause the project to be cancelled.
  17. Once the business spends all the budget, the IT department will brought in to take over the failed project, abandoned hardware and orphaned staff.
  18. The bigger the project staff the more communication will be complex, confused, and contradictory.
  19. Politics and corporate culture always win over any technology.
  20. Numbers don’t lie, people do: management, designers, developers and users. The only question is which group in your company tells the biggest lies.

What are your proverbs to add to the list?

I will be speaking at the Detroit, Cleveland and Columbus user group meetings in August.  Below are the links to sign up for the meetings.  I will be presenting “SQL Considerations for a Big Data 22 Billion Row Data Warehouse” and “Big Data Disaster Recovery Performance.”

Dave Beulke is a system strategist, application architect, and performance expert specializing in Big Data, data warehouses, and high performance internet business solutions.  He is an IBM Gold Consultant, Information Champion, and President of DAMA-NCR, former President of International DB2 User Group, and frequent speaker at national and international conferences.  His architectures, designs, and performance tuning techniques help organization better leverage their information assets, saving millions in processing costs.

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