The Book Look: All About DMBOK2

BookLookIt’s rare, but it happens – a book alters the way we see our world.

Years ago, for example, I read the classic The Inner Game of Tennis. I used to play and coach tennis and this book changed my perspective on tennis from a game of physical endurance to a game of mental endurance. It helped me improve my concentration on and off the court. (Great book by the way, even if you are not a tennis player.)

The Data Management Body of Knowledge 2nd Edition (DMBOK2 for short), is another book that changed my perspective. This book was released on June 30. From the book’s description:

Provides a functional framework for the implementation of enterprise data management practices; including widely adopted practices, methods and techniques, functions, roles, deliverables and metrics. The original DMBOK published in 2009 had as one of its goals to establish a data management profession. The DMBOK2 builds upon this and has as a goal to present a comprehensive view of the challenges, complexities, and value of effective data management.

DMBOK2 changed my perspective on data modeling. I’ve been data modeling since 1990, and over the years have fine-tuned my approach and principles to deliver high quality data models.

DAMA, the data management organization that authored and produced DMBOK2, asked me to write the data modeling chapter. I submitted a roughly 50-page chapter on data modeling considering it almost ready for print – I was soooo wrong! Several months later, I received the first of many iterations back with comments. This first iteration contained over 400 comments from data modelers around the world. Here is a screen snapshot from this first iteration (and this is just from page 1 on the definition of a data model!):

hoberman01

Over the next few months during the editing cycles, my perspective on modeling changed. I found myself reading each comment, often more than once, and struggling with not just how to incorporate the comment into the chapter, but how each comment fits with my own principles and approaches to modeling. The chapter evolved from one person’s perspective on modeling to a global perspective on modeling.

This experience completely broadened my perspective on data modeling.

Another game changer I got from reading DMBOK2 was a realization of the tight connections between the different specialties within data management. Data modeling is one piece of the data management puzzle. Each chapter in DMBOK2 is dedicated to a different facet of the data management discipline:

  • Data Handling Ethics
  • Data Governance
  • Data Architecture
  • Data Modeling and Design
  • Data Storage and Operations
  • Data Security
  • Data Integration & Interoperability
  • Document and Content Management
  • Reference and Master Data
  • Data Warehousing and Business Intelligence
  • Metadata Management
  • Data Quality Management
  • Big Data and Data Science
  • Data Management Maturity Assessment
  • Data Management Organization and Role Expectations
  • Data Management and Organizational Change Management

How the data management pieces fit together is a big perspective-changer. Laura Sebastian-Coleman, the Production Editor of DMBOK2, will be discussing this puzzle during her keynote talk at Data Modeling Zone (www.DataModelingZone.com) in Hartford this October, titled, “Eleven Functional Areas in Search of a Narrative.”

So, the book changed not only my perspective on data modeling, but also my perspective on how data modeling fits within the data management discipline.

If you work with data, DMBOK2 is a requirement. It will change your perspective too.

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About Steve Hoberman

Steve Hoberman is a world-recognized innovator and thought-leader in the field of data modeling. He has worked as a business intelligence and data management practitioner and trainer since 1990.  Steve is known for his entertaining, interactive teaching and lecture style (watch out for flying candy!) and is a popular, frequent presenter at industry conferences, both nationally and internationally. Steve is a columnist and frequent contributor to industry publications, as well as the author of Data Modeler’s Workbench and Data Modeling Made Simple. He is the founder of the Design Challenges group and inventor of the Data Model Scorecard™. Please visit his website www.stevehoberman.com to learn more about his training and consulting services, and to sign up for his Design Challenges! He can be reached at me@stevehoberman.com.

  • Colin

    Fantastic article, Steve. The term “Data Silo” comes to mind. Many people speak about breaking these silos down, yet they often ironically attempt to achieve this goal in a siloed manner. I don’t exclude myself from “they”, by the way…

    I believe that engaging with a broader range of DM professionals in the context of DAMA communities (using DMBOK2) will help break down these silos in my own mind, and hopefully in the minds of others, too.

  • Richord1

    Although books such as DMBOK2 are great references and a source for best practices, when it comes to data, most of these books assume people are rational and logical and can be “controlled” through policy and process and “stewardship”.

    We witnessed this same approach in manufacturing and the services industry. The most challenging hurdle in managing data are people’s behaviors, that include the dreaded word “politics”.

    The term Data Governance itself is a misnomer. A better term is Information Governance. Information comes in various forms, documents, verbal as well as data. Information Governance considers the human factors not just the technology factors. Which leads me to another concern about these books and that is they are prepared by the technical community with little or no input from experts in organization design and sociology. These books tend to ignore the people factor or again assume you can control behavior through process.

    And finally what I have discovered is that most people using data remain Data Illiterate. As a result data models are typically context specific resulting in the morass we have with data silos, duplicate and ambiguous data.

    If you want to get a new and mind opening perspective on data read the books by Luciano Floridi such as The Philosophy of Information. Until the concepts he portrays in these books is included within DMBOK or other references for data management nothing much will change.

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