In which Jill categorizes Centers of Excellence (aka: Competency Centers) and discusses why they generate so much discussion (aka: confusion).
Thereâ€™s a lot of buzz about centers of excellence in data management and business intelligence circles. My company has a few services that help our clients build centers of excellence around BI, master data management, and data quality. We learned quickly that thereâ€™s no such thing as one-size-fits-all, and that every company has its own pain points and priorities.
In my experience, there are four different center of excellence categories involved in data management. They are:
1.BI Competency Center: A development organization specific to the development of reporting and analytics using detailed data from a data warehouse or mart. The BI Competency Center is comprised with developers and business analysts who practice a development process that is driven by business requirements, itâ€™s incremental, and its success is measured on the use of information to support business actions. Indeed, members of the BI Competency Center are measured on conformance to business requirements.
2.Information Center of Excellence: The Information Center of Excellence manages a companyâ€™s master data and is in charge of ensuring that that data is managed as a corporate asset. This means formalizing processes around ongoing data quality, data maintenance, metadata implementation and maintenance, and data requirements analysis. Itâ€™s the point organization for data standardization, definition, and re-use across projects. The Information Center of excellence reports directly to the CIO and functions as a â€śshared serviceâ€ť across projects and departments.
3. Data Quality Center of Excellence: For companies with many subsidiaries, a global reach, or those for whom data can be a make-or-break proposition, a discrete Data Quality Center of Excellence makes sense. The complexity of the data standardization, cleansing, matching, and merging is so large in scope that the company has decided to centralize the responsibility of data quality. We see this as an emerging trend in the health care industry, where Enterprise Master Person Index functionality is the new mandate, as well as at companies embracing Six Sigma or similar continuous improvement philosophies.
4. Integration Center of Excellence: The Integration Center of Excellence is often confused with the Information Center of Excellence. But actually, itâ€™s even broader, encompassing application integration, project alignment, and systems as well as data. Integration Centers of Excellence concentrate much more on overall architecture concerns, acting as a group of internal consultants to various IT and business project teams. Integration Center of Excellence is comprised of specialists in the areas of service oriented architectures, APIs, systems design, and other integration solutions.
There are other possible centers of excellence, both in the business and in IT. Building them usually involves a distinct event thatâ€™s caused the business some headaches. Most centers of excellence require executive education and approval. But whatâ€™s most important is that theyâ€™re well-scoped, staffed with experts, and measured on their results.
Posted December 30, 2006 8:39 AM
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