Data Management - 5 Data Management Fundamentals

I continue to be amazed by high ranking executives, directors, managers and team leads that have only a minimal understanding of data management fundamentals and principles. I know I come from the old school, having gone through the industry and career transitions from flat files (VSAM), to Hierarchical (IMS), to networked (IDMS) to Relational (DB2, Oracle, SQL Server) and lately Hadoop.

Now a variety of Open Source Big Data DBMS such as Hadoop and others have companies distributing their data across multiple operating systems, platforms, partners, and clouds to deliver application solutions. Each data instance poses a serious security, integration, performance, and management challenge to achieve measureable success. While there are many vendors that say they can integrate it all seamlessly, data management professionals know it all comes back to the data management fundamentals. Here are five data management fundamentals that will always help your systems and applications serve the business well.

  1. Data Security is more important than ever.
    Securing your company’s data is vital as state sponsored and competitor sponsored hacking continue to probe your systems and applications constantly. The 2015 Verizon Data Breach report found here  provide the hacking details on cyber-attacks and threats. Not enough attention, staffing, and monitoring of data security is done because 60% of the hacking situations/problems were due to a system administrator error. Hacking continues to be a growth industry, and your company could be next.

  2. Data needs to be managed as a perishable resource.
    Quality, timely, accessible, and complete data is the only data that should be allowed within the business. Today storage costs are minimal so there is too much data, too many copies, and too much derivative data. Getting the right data to the right people at the right time is the ultimate goal. Having too much data, duplicate data copies, or data that is too old diminishes the data’s values and hinders its consumption for improving your business.

  3. Data context and quality are critical.
    Understanding the metadata attributes of who, what, when and where of the data provide context, meaning and value. Only by understanding the data context of data creation can the systems and people truly understand its value proposition. Not understanding the data’s context will cause bad decisions to be made, by using the wrong data to achieve a purpose or decision.

  4. Know and use Codd’s 12 Rules to design better databases.
    Data is gathered, stored, and analyzed because it represents something in our business world. Data relationships should reflect the realities of the business situations. Within all situations there are usually relationships, rules and keys to all entities and objects. All of these types of business situations usually following guiding business principles and distinct formulas.
    E. F. Codd and his relational theory reflected here in his 12 Rules continue to be a tremendous help to worldwide data management professionals for designing and defining data integrity into our systems. Reviewing Codd’s 12 Rules with your new development team can help avoid problems down the road with data relationships, anomalies and integrity issues.

  5. Data is the most important asset.
    Data management is just as important as financial management, resource management, and any other type of management within your company. This is why the Chief Data Officer (CDO) is the latest new position within the C-suite of many companies.

    Every business has customers, products, services, employees, materials, equipment, and other data areas all have their domains and ranges. Having a knowledgeable CDO or group of data stewards that know the data and the business is the only way to maintain business application data integrity and data relationships.

    Having the right data in a manageable amount with the right attributes or qualities is the best for all business decisions. Decisions that can be trusted because of the knowledge, information and intelligent accurate information is paramount for successful companies.

As application developers continue to spread and copy data to every known computing platform option, data management continues to have the hardest corporate task to maintain, manage, and protect the data. Keep these five data management principles in mind and spread their importance to everyone in the company as new applications are discussed and developed.

I will be giving a security seminar and two presentation at this year’s IDUG conference.  Make your plans and sign up for the IDUG DB2 Technical Conference Austin, Texas coming up this May 22-26th 2016.  Also plan on attending any of my sessions.

  • “How to do a DB2 Security Audit”
    Half-day seminar Tuesday 2:15-4:30 PM, Room:  Frio
  • “Performance Enterprise Architectures for Analytic Design Patterns “
    Presentation Wednesday, May 25th 1:00 – 02:00 PM,  Room: Pecos
  • “DB2 Security Best Practices: Protecting Your System from the Legions of Doom”
    Presentation May 26th  8:00-9:00,AM, Room: Trinity A

For more details on any of these items go to

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, 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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