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EDM Council’s Atkin Seeks To Elevate Industry Discussions

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Freshly installed as managing director of the Enterprise Data Management Council, former FISD chief Mike Atkin says he’s embarked on a programme to raise the level of discussion of enterprise data issues within the industry, kicking off with council meetings in New York and, this month, London.

Atkin reckons the industry is at the stage of setting priorities for its enterprise data projects, having spent the past five years ago grappling with the “logical rationale” of identifying the need, defining and ultimately conducting enterprise data projects. The EMD Council, he says, thus aims to help define the issues and set the agenda for what Atkin refers to the second of three phases before it reaches the Nirvana of enterprise/industry data management, a task that ultimately requires involvement of C-level executives.

This second phase – involving setting priorities for actual data management projects – includes setting objectives, performing current-state analysis, creating internal governance structures, and implementing project management disciplines.

At its general meeting in New York last month, Atkin presented the EDM Council’s view to 22 representatives from 21 member firms, including Credit Suisse, Vanguard, Franklin Templeton and Morgan Stanley. He has also posted a white paper – EDM: Making the Transition from Why to How – on the council’s web site at www.edmcouncil.org.

At the New York meeting, the council’s two working groups – the Business Case Working Group and the Implementation Best Practices Working Group – also presented their initial findings. The Business Case Working Group identified four key drivers impacting the business case for enterprise data management projects: risk, regulation, operational commitment and the composite view. The Implementation Best Practices Working Group, meanwhile, presented its conclusion that governance is the single most important requirement for successful EDM.

The EDM Council is sponsored by BearingPoint, Inc., Cicada Corp., IBM, GoldenSource Corp. and SunGard, and now has 43 user-firm members. The council’s sponsorship by a relatively small group of vendor organizations has raised questions about its validity as a genuine industry trade association. However, Atkin acknowledges the challenge of attracting more participants to the council, and the boost to credibility of ensuring that it remains inclusive and neutral. He says he is open to discussions with more vendor organizations about membership.
As reported, Atkin recently assumed the managing director role at EDM Council after a brief stint at generic content industry research group Outsell Inc. (Reference Data Review, February 2006). Before that, he had led the Financial Information Services Division (FISD) of the Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA) for several years, spearheading the trade group’s focus on the adoption of standards within the financial information services segment.

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