So what does this mean and why should you care?
Have you ever delivered what seemed to be an innocent data set or report, only to find that your business user has built a myriad of other dependent applications on the other side of it in access and/or excel? If so read on and if not read on as well.
We often never think about the fact that information consumers can automatically become information producers. Far too often we as data professionals deliver data but never really understand what it is being used for. It is just more fun to deliver and problem solve users data needs one by one as opposed to ensuring that we have a sound architectural approach. This is really the beginnings of the "Data Garage" or house of cards approach to enterprise information management, or lack thereof depending on your point of view.
We need to begin thinking beyond being deliverers of reports and move towards being well thought out solution providers. Well established Business Intelligence folks will probe and ask more questions to determine how to architect and deliver solutions that fit the overall information architecture. See Architect Big and Deliver Small on my blog
No matter if you are a technical or business person, it is next to impossible to this day in age to dispute the importance of data (when managed properly) as a strategic asset to your organization. See a briliant but simple post by Seth Godin on Information about information. Data is the lifeblood of an organization and it is time to step up as organisations and treat it as such. The age of Enterprise Information Management is upon us.