Backward Looking Forward: A TDAN.com Retrospect

This issue celebrates seven and one-half years of my publishing THE DATA ADMINISTRATION NEWSLETTER – TDAN.com. The first issue was published on June 22nd, 1997 after I first announced my intentions
at the DAMA Symposium & Wilshire Conference in Dallas, Texas in March of that year. The publication has evolved over the years, but the goal of providing consistent, quality, thought-provoking,
leading-edge and valuable content to the data management community, has remained the same.

Back in 1997, Tony Shaw (of Wilshire Conference now — TTI back then) generously gave me an hour of his time in Dallas to discuss this IDEA I had for a newsletter/web-site. When we met, I (we) had
no IDEA how well the publication would be received. At that point I had never published anything before and had never created a web-site or written a line of html code (still haven’t – thanks to
FrontPage). Tony and my long-time friend Craig Mullins really helped me a lot in the very early days with the initial direction. To this day, I remember the lesson I learned back then – good advice
comes from good people.

Quick note – How TDAN.com Got It’s Name: I was talking to Craig in early 1997 about the same IDEA I had shared with Tony and I was trying to figure out what to name the newsletter. I told him
it was going to be a newsletter about data administration for data administrators. Craig said – in his infinite wisdom – “Why don’t you call it The Data Administration Newsletter?”. I said
“TDAN, nice acronym”, and it stuck. The original site was hosted at www.stargate.net/tdan before moving to it’s own domain in 1999. To this day, I
receive “Dear Dan” emails several times an issue from people who think my name is Dan.

So … Way back then, the newsletter was known and publicized as just TDAN and not TDAN.com. That was a tough hurdle to get over. In my mind, people needed to know that the newsletter was available
entirely via email & on-line – no paper version – at least not yet. My thoughts were that by adding the ever-popular “dot-com” to the end of the name, that would solve that problem. Well – it
ends up that there never was a problem to solve – and it didn’t seem to matter. People still refer to the newsletter as TDAN and not TDAN.com and I quickly found out that — as long as they were
referring to it — that was all that mattered (and matters).

Readership of TDAN.com has grown steadily over the almost eight years. Presently the newsletter attracts between 35k and 40k visitors a month and somewhere between 110k and 120k over the three
months of an issue. I can remember being excited about having a thousand visitors per issue, then a thousand per month (and thinking to myself that I was probably 100 of those) and having a couple
of hundred registered readers. Statistics provided by my site host have always been sketchy however the steady growth of TDAN.com has always been obvious.

Back in January of 2001, I started adding regular feature columns to TDAN.com. First Craig Mullin’s Database Report, then DAMA’s Corner, then Fabian Pascal’s popular column Setting Matters
Straight, then finally columns from my good friends David Loshin and Bob Dominko. Over the years, two other columns were introduced and retired including a Business Rules column from Knowledge
Partners and an industry perspective column from the META Group.

Looking forward, I am VERY INTERESTED in adding new columns this year. If you are interested in authoring a column every quarter (once every three months) and abiding by some not-too-stringent
publisher requirements, I am VERY INTERESTED in speaking with you. Drop me a line with your idea, your background, some writing samples and your commitment, and we can look to add your column as
soon as possible. Thanks.

Several other sections of TDAN.com have grown over the years and remain difficult to keep “perfectly” up to date. The company and product list became popular early on and continues to be a very
beneficial resource (from what I am told). The company and product list is probably the most difficult to keep up to date. Companies acquire, are acquired, merge, change company names, change
product names, change web addresses ALL THE TIME. I do my best to stay on top of it. Send me updates and I will get them on-line as quickly as I can.

The special features section has contained many very interesting papers and reviews since it was added about five years ago. The conference list has been visited steadily over the years. The book
center started by focusing on book reviews and quickly evolved into a book list resource of data management (and related) books. The on-line articles section (used to be called recommended
readings) and the business & data resources section (used to be called data links) are more popular than ever. If you have some time some day, you may want to venture into the on-line article
and business & data resource section and do some surfing. Lots and lots of valuable information is dwarfed by the great articles that are sent to me each issue.

Speaking of articles… I owe a debt of gratitude to EVERYONE that has allowed me to publish their articles over the years. Special Thanks to Anne Marie Smith, Michael Gorman, David Hay, Kevin
Craine, Clive Finkelstein, Bill Inmon, Amit Bhagwat, Dan Linstedt, David Marco, Sid Adelman, Terry Moriarty, the list goes on and on, for their numerous contributions to TDAN.com. These industry
leaders have repeatedly allowed me to publish their articles and materials for the readers of TDAN.com. There have also been many one-time contributors over the years, a few people that have been
published a couple of times, and then there are those people over the years that have repeatedly told me “an article is coming”. You know who you are. :) When you finally get around to writing an
article, please consider sending it MY WAY. All of the readers will be grateful.

Over the past eight years my data management professional career passed from the “corporate world” to the “big-firm consulting & staffing world” to the “work-for-myself consulting world”.
Over these years so much of my life has changed that you probably wouldn’t believe it if I told you. In some ways you might say that the past eight years of my life have been written like Lemony
Snicket’s “A SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS” while others might say it has been written like Watty Piper’s “THE LITTLE TRAIN THAT COULD”. Once again, the only thing that has been constant in my
professional life has been TDAN.com.

If you are not aware of my “other” business – please take a few minutes and visit KIK Consulting & Educational Services, LLC at http://www.kikconsulting.com. The funny thing is that that web site still exists only as pages of TDAN.com — You will automatically be forward to the right
pages. The focus of my consulting business is on practical & pragmatic solutions and knowledge transfer in the areas of data management, data governance, data stewardship and meta-data
management. I provide consultative services and I provide educational services (I CALL IT CONSULTATIVE MENTORING) including on-site classes and public classes. My goal is to help companies learn
how to better manage their data assets. Basically the same goal as The Data Administration Newsletter. Funny how it works out that way!

I cannot close here without including and thanking my family, my wife and kids (the other pieces of consistency in my life), who somehow understand why I spend so much time in my office. Everyone
else goes to sleep. I go to work. It has always been that way and it probably always will. I am always amused when people ask me about what my newsletter’s “organization” looks like. It is only
little-ole-me. And I have enjoyed every second of it. Here’s looking toward the next eight years or more. Happy New Year.

And thanks for being a reader of TDAN.com.

Bob Seiner

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About Robert S. Seiner

Robert S. (Bob) Seiner is the publisher of The Data Administration Newsletter (TDAN.com) – and has been since it was introduced in 1997 – providing valuable content for people that work in Information & Data Management and related fields. TDAN.com is known for its timely and relevant articles, columns and features from thought-leaders and practitioners. Seiner and TDAN.com were recognized by DAMA International for significant and demonstrable contributions to Information and Data Resource Management industries. Seiner is the President and Principal of KIK Consulting & Educational Services, a data and information management consultancy that he started in 2002, providing practical and cost-effective solutions in the disciplines of data governance, data stewardship, metadata management and data strategy. Seiner is a recognized industry thought-leader, has consulted with and educated many prominent organizations nationally and globally, and is known for his unique approach to implementing data governance. His book “Non-Invasive Data Governance: The Path of Least Resistance and Greatest Success” was published in late 2014. Seiner speaks often at the industry’s leading conferences and provides a monthly webinar series titled “Real-World Data Governance” with DATAVERSITY.

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