Information Management Action Plan

There is a demand for information to be an asset that fuels organizational growth. Greater volumes of data are generated and service level expectations continue to rise. Tolerance for poor quality is lessened, and the underlying complexity and load on the systems is amplified. Discussions around data warehouses, data integration, big data, business intelligence, and data management occur more frequently. Probably you’ve implemented one or more of these projects but at the end of the day, you need to take your information management capabilities to the next level.

MCG’s 2- to 8-week Information Management Action Plan (IMAP) is designed for organizations that want to advance their analytical capabilities across the spectrum of information management. Information management comprises the disciplines of data warehousing, big data, business intelligence, master data management and data governance. These disciplines are incredibly interrelated. Operating them in silos will not lead to success.

MCG will analyze your needs and provide expert advice across the process, people, and technology that drive your organization and are so critical to its success. MCG has built over 40 Action Plans for our clients and contributed to business successes worldwide.

Is this Your Current State?

There are typical challenges to moving forward the ability to make data-driven decisions.  We are keenly aware of these challenges and focus on them in our Action Plan.  These challenges include, but may not be limited to:

  • Disparate, heterogeneous, disjointed sources of data that lack consistency, including many Excel spreadsheets
  • Organizational silos between different groups and their data
  • Reporting and analytics are performed slowly and manually
  • Lack of key performance indicators and metrics that inform business processes and outcomes
  • Lack of a consistent information management architecture
  • Lack of a true enterprise data warehouse and BI and analytic tools
  • Lack of good data management, quality and governance practices
  • Multiple data warehouses with potentially overlapping data and functionality with many queries needing data from multiple of these warehouses
  • Lack of in-house information management staff, expertise and discipline
  • Key Information Management Initiatives and Enterprise Architecture Initiatives behind schedule
  • Lack of well-done data modeling
  • Lack of naming conventions (i.e., business concepts have 3+ definitions)
  • A growing backlog of user requests and discontent
  • Lack of an enterprise path-to-production (i.e., development, QA and production environments and policies)

So many recognize that an investment in enterprise data will provide opportunities to create additional revenue, reduce costs, deliver on-time, satisfy customers and improve agility—moving them closer to having the information necessary to be an information company.

A Desired Future State

There are typical desires of organizations for their information management environment to support initiatives. These include, but may not be limited to:

  • A data warehouse, on a modern platform
  • A fully-functional data governance program
  • High data quality, good performance and good data modeling with naming conventions
  • Important data mastered by master data management or other leveragable approaches
  • Lowered attrition due to career-enhancing work
  • And most importantly, users using BI and getting BI to enhance the business, not using Excel and doing most of the data work themselves

McKnight Consulting Group has the skills and technical know-how to assist you in attaining your goals of defining and implementing an information management architecture that will deliver short-term wins and long-term value.

An Information Management Action Plan ensures the program is enabled to deliver true business value on a regular basis, and therefore have sustainability.

As big data, data warehouse, master data management and business intelligence architecture experts, the MCG team will discover and validate:

  • Expectations of leadership, engineering, IT and other business stakeholders
  • The structure of data and level of quality throughout systems
  • Business, technical and reporting requirements
  • Timeframes and cost for implementation and support
  • The gaps in the current resources required to build and support the environment on an ongoing basis

MCG will refine any current plans using our third-party expertise, best practices and vast project experience in delivery in understanding the best order and timeframes for activities.

We Can Focus on the Analytical Environment

The objective is to assess the needs, challenges, requirements, scope, specifications, timeframes and costs of the environment. Based on the MCG IMAP process, we look at program dimensions of Data Management Goals, Corporate Culture, Governance Model, Data Management Funding, Data Requirements Lifecycle, Standards and Procedures, Data Sourcing, Architectural Framework, Platform & Integration, Data Quality Framework, and the Data Management Support Processes.

For the analytic environment, we follow the McKnight Consulting Group Information Management Program Management Methodology. This delivers “Phase 0” of an Information Management/Big Data/Data Warehouse implementation(s):

  • Target Information Management Architecture including Hadoop cluster, staging area needs, data warehouse, data marts, analytical databases
  • Short List and recommended selection process: Platform (including ETL, BI and environment tools)
  • Roadmap: Next 2+ years broken down by quarter showing target Business usage, Subject Areas, Source Systems, Business Rules and Technical Environment.
  • Budget for Roadmap execution, and cost/benefit / ROI framework if necessary
  • Several other deliverables available upon inquiry

We Can Focus on Master Data Management and Data Governance Efforts

For MDM, we follow the McKnight Consulting Group Master Data Management Methodology. This delivers “Phase 0” of an MDM and/or Data Governance implementation:

  • Conceptual Data Model
  • Data Governance Structure and Data Governance Roles
  • Short list and recommended MDM Tool selection process
  • MDM Plan, providing:
    • Architecture
    • Subscribers and Publishers
    • Subject Area Definitions
    • Subject Area Working Group suggestions
    • Method for master data: Workflow, Publisher, Combination
    • Organizational Change Management plan
    • Several other deliverables available upon inquiry

A Methodological Approach

We are students and leaders in action planning as well as in the disciplines of information management.

Our approach to the IMAP is a methodology that integrates the best practices of Lean and the best practices of Six Sigma, as well as deep experience in business process engineering and change management.

Our IMAP approach calls for never-ending efforts for improvement involving the stakeholders of the organization. Our approach is efficient and continually improved. We operate the IMAP with the following three principles:

  • Consider the process and the results so that actions to achieve effects are surfaced
  • Systemic thinking of the whole process and not just that immediately in view (i.e. big picture, not solely the narrow view) in order to avoid creating problems elsewhere in the process
  • A learning, non-judgmental, non-blaming approach that allows for re-examination of the assumptions that resulted in the current process

Our depth of experience in the data warehouse, big data and master data management market spaces, including the cultural and organizational change challenges, ensure expedient results.  Our breadth of skills across many disciplines and tool sets helps us to maintain an independent, yet focused, view.

We have a demonstrated record of success with the IMAP with over 40 companies.  The usual outcome is that the IMAP becomes the plan for the information management organization for the duration of the plan, usually 2+ years, yielding vast improvements in information management maturity, information use and business results.