Data Management 101

Mastering the basics have been a hallmark of many successful people.  No one made fundamentals more central to their success than Vince Lombardi.  The start of the 1961 season started with Lombardi focusing on skills like blocking and tackling for a group of professionals that just blown a 4th quarter lead to the Philadelphia Eagles.  Relearning the basics was not what these professionals thought was missing.

We often forget about the basics because they are not sexy.  They are often overlooked because we assume if you are capable of great things the fundamentals should be established.  Often what we find is that we know the basics, but we haven’t mastered them.  And, this lack of mastery is what is holding us making from making greater progress.

The basics form the foundation you are going to execute upon.  The stronger the foundation; the higher you can build.  In data management simplifying your systems involved cannot be overstated.  We often think “best of breed” technology is the only path to success.  However, when you pick the best of HCM, the best of payroll, the best of recruiting. the best benefits, etc.  You still have integrate all of the systems to work as one cohesive system.  And really how well the overall system will work comes down to how well the integration can be achieved.  What does this mean for data management?  It means you need to be able to sync all of that data between the various systems. When data sync’ing is central to the architecture it becomes harder to maintain data quality across the various systems.  Best of breed sounds like a winning solution, but you are risking data quality by doing so.  The fundamental is it’s better to keep it simple than to try and turn all of the dials up to 11.

Another area often overlooked is maintaining legacy data.  Migrating to newer systems or acquiring systems through company mergers creates huge projects to unify systems.  However, often these systems are never shutdown, and legacy data lives in separate systems.  Overtime this affects your productivity and bottom line because data is spread throughout many different systems.  So when it comes time to do a cross cutting activities like:  analytics, risk, security, compliance, integration, mergers and migration, data retirement, data quality, etc, it’s made much harder because so many systems are involved.

This is where archiving and system consolidation can simplify your landscape and increase your productivity by 10x. This idea of simplifying your landscape as your foundation sets you up for accomplishing so much more.  It is easier to do more when you have a simpler playing field to work on.

The 1961 season was the start of one football’s greatest dynasties winning 5 NFL championships in a span of 7 years with 3 in a row.  He never lost a playoff game, and ended every season with a winning record.  And every year he started over from page 1 and practicing the basics.  System consolidation and archiving is a very simple idea that anyone can understand.  It’s a fundamental of all data management, and mastery of it allows us to accomplish more advanced features by keeping our landscape simple.

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