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The Data Asset: How Smart Companies Govern Their Data for Business Success 1st Edition

8 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0470462263
ISBN-10: 0470462264
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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

Many organizations find that they cannot rely on the information that serves as the very foundation of their business. Unreliable data-whether about your customers, your products, or your suppliers-hinders understanding and affects your bottom line. It seems simple: better data leads to better decisions, which ultimately leads to better business. So why don't executives take data quality and data governance more seriously?

The Data Asset: How Smart Companies Govern Their Data for Business Success explores the new shift in the way that successful businesses are thinking about and treating data, moving from simply producing data to a focus on consuming data.

Providing you with guidance for building the business case for data quality and data governance, this book also helps you develop the methodologies and processes that will enable your organization to better treat your data as a strategic asset.

Author and data quality expert Tony Fisher outlines the rules of data governance and looks at how your business can improve data quality, as well as plan and implement an effective data governance program, with discussion of:

  • Risk mitigation
  • Cost control
  • Revenue optimization
  • Data quality and data governance
  • Undisciplined organizations
  • Reactive and proactive organizations
  • Technologies required for effective data quality and data governance

Part of the Wiley and SAS Business Series, The Data Asset: How Smart Companies Govern Their Data for Business Success reveals how to get your data to work for you without breaking the bank or scrapping your current solutions. Making the case for ridding your organization of undependable data and the opportunities that exist when you treat data as a strategic advantage, this book proves-regardless of the industry that your company is in or the business issues that you face-that managing your data is vital to achieving your goals and keeping your business successful.

From the Back Cover

"If we accept that the key assets of today's organizations lie in data, information, and human intellectual capital, then we must also recognize that harnessing these assets requires a relentless focus on data quality and data governance. I simply don't see another reasonable alternative for a business looking to exploit this latent value. Tony Fisher's book manages to put forward this case in a compelling way without the usual vendor recourse to technology for the sake of technology."
Ian Charlesworth, Practice Leader, Ovum Software

"Especially for businesses with massively complex day-to-day marketing risk, and channel decisioning, until data quality is understood as having the potential to be the deciding factor in whether a business succeeds or fails against its competition, it will always be seen as a support function. The Data Asset positions data quality as being that deciding factor. The Data Asset has taken data quality beyond an IT function to the C-level, which, unless this is done, never seems to get accomplished."
Peter Harvey, CEO, Intellidyn

"The phrase 'data as a corporate asset' has been adopted by business and IT professionals alike. Finally, there's a book that deconstructs the phrase and gets to the meat of what matters: information as a business enabler. Tony's book not only justifies a newfound investment in data, it explains why the time for formal and sustained information management has come. And not a moment too soon."
Jill Dyché and Evan Levy, cofounders of Baseline Consulting and authors of Customer Data Integration

"In this book, Tony Fisher has provided an articulate presentation of the wide range of business impacts attributable to the absence of organizational data quality management, and then provides a practical guide for baselining and improving enterprise data governance. Tony's years of experience in helping organizations have infused this text with many valuable recommendations that will lead to continual organizational maturation and improvement in the value of the enterprise data asset."
David Loshin, President of Knowledge Integrity, Inc., and author of Master Data Management and Enterprise Knowledge Management


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (June 22, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470462264
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470462263
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 0.8 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #151,018 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Michael Tozer on August 20, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Tony Fisher's book is the best I have ever read on the very important topic of Data Governance in modern enterprises. I must admit that I approach the discipline of data management from a philosophical, though hopefully pragmatic, point of view. With this in mind, the reader of this review might well imagine how thrilled I was to see a quote from Aristotle, whom Scholastics have styled as "The Philosopher", in the heading of the first chapter of this important and excellent book. The quote was this:

"The whole is greater than the sum of the parts."

Now, this is a profound proposition. It is also one worthy of both careful consideration and testing. But in the discipline of data management, it is also a guiding beacon. It leads in addition to another profound observation, which heads a later chapter of Fisher's book:

"It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data."

Truer words were never spoken. Tony Fisher expands on these, and many more, profound observations throughout this wonderful book. Lest the reader should think that Fisher's book is simply a philosophical tome, let me emphatically state that it is short, pithy, and extraordinarily practical. Never before have I read a better representation of the confluence of the people, processes, and technology necessary to make Data Governance work in the modern organization. I recommend Tony Fisher's excellent book emphatically and without qualification.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jill Dyche on October 4, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Tony Fisher has not only written a book that's fun to read--a feat in itself--but a book that's important to read. I know Tony and, as the CEO of DataFlux, he's seen the bruises of companies battling the business impact of poorly-managed data. He knows whereof he speaks (and writes).

The book is practical to the core. It covers everything from the steps for cleansing and correcting data to a maturity model for the long-term governance--what we define as the "policy making and decision rights around corporate information" and what Tony calls "a philosophy for gathering, managing, and benefiting from your data." Ultimately Tony paints data quality and data governance as business problems that can often significantly impact a company's bottom line. To that end, he not only emphasizes technology adoption but behavior changes, with the aim of making a company a "proactive organization."

I used the book's subtitle as the title of my review because it's the crux of the conversation. It's about "smart" or "smart-er" companies. This book is an important level-set for IT staff and practitioners looking to start or enhance their data governance activities. But it's a must-read for business executives whose attentions have turned to information--or the lack thereof--and have begun to realize that data, instead of being a by-product of the systems that use it, is indeed an asset in its own right.

Jill Dyche
Baseline Consulting
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Philip Simon on January 27, 2010
Format: Hardcover
As a long time veteran of IT projects, I can claim without fear of accurate contradiction that the concepts Fisher's books are imperative for organizations to grasp. Before beginning new projects, senior managers would be wise to read a copy of this book. I have seen far too often projects derailed because data management was, quite frankly, an afterthought.

But the book doesn't stop there. Fisher details steps that organizations in all phases can take to improve their data quality and, ultimately, successfully effect a culture of data governance.

Rife with a wide array of examples from many different industries and types of systems, The Data Asset is a blueprint for unlocking the potential of organizational data. I can't recommend it highly enough.
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Format: Hardcover
Fisher's book makes an excellent practical guide to managing corporate data. But just because Fisher focuses on the practical, don't get the idea that he isn't aware well-read and capable of wide-ranging connections. And he is entertaining. Where else would you find the Romantic poet Coleridge, the philosopher Aristotle and the novelty songwriter Tom Lehrer quoted in the same business text? (All philosophers in my book, by the way).

Lots of foundational knowledge for anyone interested in, or responsible for, data management. But this book alone will not give you a blueprint for success. Each of the principles Fisher discusses will require much thinking, work and resolve in order to take hold. But this book puts it all together in a coherent approach and points you to what you need to learn and do to succeed. That makes this book a great place to start.
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