New York-based GoldenSource (booth 3206), a provider of enterprise data management (EDM) software to the financial services industry, is feeling quite the proud parent of the growing not-for-profit EDM Council, which now boasts 45 member firms. Cosponsored along with BearingPoint, Cicada, IBM and SunGard, the nascent council was created in June 2005 to enhance awareness of EDM as a priority for the industry.
Michael Meriton, president and CEO of GoldenSource, preaches the importance of EDM as an integral part of doing business today. "EDM for your firm is a groupwide service. It must be looked at as a shared asset across the entire group. You must organize to execute it that way," he says. "Firms can't just look at platforms from a technology perspective, but must have team formations that transcend the existing structures that typically exist, such as reference data groups that are split up amongst geographies and regions."
The EDM Council recently hired Michael Atkin, a well-known industry expert in the data management space and a former lead analyst and VP at market research firm Outsell, as managing director. Atkin has been tasked with raising the profile of EDM, creating best-practice recommendations for EDM implementations and establishing the council as a business network for industry executives.
Meriton emphasizes that the council's agenda is driven solely by its member firms; sponsor organizations secure meeting space and assist with logistics. "The initial members voted that the council is to be a practical forum for senior executives and upper management to discuss the realities of how to implement and accurately execute EDM for their companies," he relates.
Sponsors, however, benefit by having a front-row seat to high-level executive airings of EDM grievances. "Clearly, it's a very good opportunity for the sponsor firms to hear the most-current dialogue of what are the issues - practical issues - of executing EDM for firms," Meriton says.
In terms of specific activities, council members have voted to establish EDM metrics as a baseline against which to measure themselves. Once that is done, the firms will share with each other - on a blind or sanitized basis - the current measurement in each of their firms. The result, according to Meriton, will be benchmarks established in terms of the metrics before, during and after EDM deployment. Such measurements, it is hoped, will allow the industry to start forming best practices and discover just what are the healthy metrics.
"If you're going to go to a doctor, it is good to know that the best temperature to have is 98.6," says Meriton. "Without measurement, it's hard to assess what companies are doing well or not and what areas of pain are relevant to how they can be better, based on best practices as the industry adopts EDM platforms and techniques within its organizations."
In the near future, the council will be opened to any companies that wish to join the sponsor ranks. "We want to make sure this baby starts to crawl and then eventually walks," says Meriton.