Published in TDAN.com April 2004
I have spent most of the last 15 years in government contracting. Early on, I realized that if I were going to survive, I needed to learn to speak in acronyms. Recently, I added a new acronym to my
arsenal – WIIFM, pronounced, wif-fum. In case you haven’t heard, WIIFM stands for “What’s In
It For Me?” Although I normally shy away from this selfish attitude, I have chosen to tackle it in this month’s column.
If you are considering involvement in the Data Management Association (DAMA – I know, another acronym), then WIIFM is a legitimate question to ask. And now that you have
asked the question, what does DAMA have to offer you, the data management professional?
I can answer that with one simple word – opportunities! DAMA is the premier data resource management organization in the world. We are committed to inspiring data management excellence. But
you did not ask about DAMA, did you? You asked, “WIIFM?”
My answer remains the same – OPPORTUNITIES! Allow me to elaborate. The heart and soul of DAMA is the Chapter, whether it is your local Chapter or the new DAMA Global Chapter, a worldwide
virtual Chapter for members-at-large who do not have a local Chapter nearby. The DAMA Chapter is all about YOU, the member. That is why we exist! To find a Chapter near you, go to www.dama.org/chapters/damaaffi.htm.
DAMA Chapter Membership
Membership in a DAMA Chapter provides an opportunity for business and technical data professionals to use the resources and expertise of DAMA to increase their knowledge and understanding of
architectures, policies, procedures, and best practices in the full data life cycle of an enterprise. DAMA draws on international, national, and local expertise to give its members a broad
perspective. You will also gain insight into the issues that may impact the future direction of your professional career.
DAMA Chapters are incorporated locally as non-profit professional organizations. Chapters are affiliated with DAMA International. A Chapter elects a governing board, and the board is responsible
for the Chapter’s affairs, including official business, finances, and programs. All DAMA board members serve voluntarily. DAMA Chapters offer many valuable benefits to their members. Although
you can’t “take them to the bank,” these opportunities will enrich you in many other tangible and intangible ways. WIIFM, you ask? Read on … Some of the most
significant benefits of DAMA membership are the intangible ones, like:
- Contacts and networking
- Exchange of ideas and problem solving opportunities
- Opportunities for leadership
- Knowledge of industry best practices
- Better assessment of the local talent and experience
- More knowledgeable workforce
To achieve these benefits, DAMA Chapters hold several meetings and events annually, featuring international, national and local speakers. Key themes of the Chapter events include data modeling,
data warehousing, enterprise architecture, data quality, metadata management, business intelligence, business rules, and the like.
The most important tangible benefit of membership is free attendance at most Chapter meetings. Other tangible benefits include:
- Local access to speakers of national and international reputation
- Automatic membership in DAMA International
- Discounts to National and International DAMA-sponsored Conferences, like the $250 discount to the DAMA International Symposium, May 2-6, 2004 in Los Angeles – see www.wilshireconferences.com/MD2004/index.htm
- Member discount at DAMA Chapter paid events
- Reciprocal membership agreements with other DAMA Chapters
- Product discounts – see www.dama.org/Discounts.htm for a list of vendors
- Training providers that offer discounts to DAMA members include Axis Software Designs, DebTech International, Intervista Institute Seminars, IRM UK, The Data Warehousing Institute and Zachman
Institute for Framework Advancement – see www.dama.org/Training.htm for more Training discounts
- Events that offer discounts to DAMA members include The Data Warehousing Institute, Enterprise Data Forum, Information Impact International and Zachman Institute for Framework Advancement, just
to name a few – see www.dama.org/Events.htm for more Event discounts
DAMA? What’s In It For Me? What do I receive for my local Chapter’s $75 annual membership? OPPORTUNITIES! Through my involvement in DAMA, I have:
- Received state-of the-art training at a significant savings
- Made many new friends locally, across the country and around the world
- Grown as a leader through my service on the local and international boards
- Stayed abreast of industry best practices
- Broadened my career and my career opportunities
DAMA? What’s In It For YOU? Get involved with your local DAMA Chapter and discover your own OPPORTUNITIES! DAMA – inspiring data management excellence. It really is all about YOU!
This quarter’s DAMA column was written by Perry Reynolds.