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!):


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 ( 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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Steve Hoberman

Steve Hoberman

Steve Hoberman has trained more than 10,000 people in data modeling since 1992. Steve is known for his entertaining and interactive teaching style (watch out for flying candy!), and organizations around the globe have brought Steve in to teach his Data Modeling Master Class, which is recognized as the most comprehensive data modeling course in the industry. Steve is the author of nine books on data modeling, including the bestseller Data Modeling Made Simple. Steve is also the author of the bestseller, Blockchainopoly. One of Steve’s frequent data modeling consulting assignments is to review data models using his Data Model Scorecard® technique. He is the founder of the Design Challenges group, Conference Chair of the Data Modeling Zone conferences, director of Technics Publications, and recipient of the Data Administration Management Association (DAMA) International Professional Achievement Award. He can be reached at

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