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Quote of the Week

"People have become complacent in their approach - believing that they have answered the problem - but data management is coming back with a vengeance due to realisation that "multichannel" has actually created a very fragmented world. Most of the benefits sought from implementing CRM and marketing systems are being lost because of fragmented data. Worse, organisations are alienating the very customers they sought to attract through well-intentioned but badly joined-up cross-channel execution.."

"Data is oxygen to the direct marketing community. All the elegant solutions and revenue generating mechanisms - segmentation, personalisation, in- bound/out-bound integration, analytics, profiling, event-triggering and so on - are starved of life without it, and tainted by impurities in it."

"The problem is that data isn't interesting to your average marketer. It is perceived as a difficult technical topic that requires the assistance of IT - not marketing's greatest bedfellow - and takes ages to sort out. Historically this was true but the technology has moved on, and now it is not just much easier but absolutely imperative to solve this in today's multi-channel environment."

Jeremy Bedford

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New this week: Minor amends and updates are morphing into a gradual reshaping of pages - but most work is still behind the scenes overhauling the site for substantial updating, restructuring and a relaunch. Watch this space!

New in 09. There is now an explicit section in the links pages on small independent consultants and service providers. Many of these individuals are veterans with a wealth of experience, often thought-leaders in their subject. Because they choose to focus on doing the thing they are passionate about rather than administration in a larger organisation they are amazingly good value - but by the same token are not always that easy to find. Over the next couplre of months Information Alchemy will be addressing that, so if you have worked with an independent and don't see them here - or if you are one - get onto the contact pages and let us know

Wider changes

When I started this site in 2005, although I was convinced in my own mind that the management of data and information for value was an idea whose time was about to come, there were many times I felt myslef to be a voice crying in the wilderness. People sort of got the idea once you explained it to them, but no-one really knew what to call it, and very few people in organisations were attempting to address it explicitly. For want of a better term this site began to talk about "Information Management" as a term to cover the whole spectrum from managing data , data quality and data governance, through to the final exploitation of information through analytics BI and customer insight

Four years on there are signs of spring. DM Review, long one of the best and deepest resources in this area has just renamed itself as - wait for it - Information Management!!

Add that to new resources like Data Quality Pro and Data Migration Pro, new course providers like Platon; the slow but steady rise of the IAIDQ (look it up in the links pages or the glossary if you're not sure) and new books like Tom Redman's Data-Driven which sees "the Data Doc" focussing on "Profiting from your most important busines asset" and it begins to look as though this thing may catch on.

With the strengthening of resources around data a quality, information management and data governance it is time for Information Alchemy to evolve too. Over the next few months expect the emphasis to shift as I return attention to my roots - Direct Marketing, in it's classic, broadest sense. The focus on value from data will remain, but set very much in the context of how to use the new disciplines around Data Resource Management and Information Engineering, along with the tools, techniques, ideas and resources to underpin and power data-driven marketing and customer insight. Watch this space for developments.

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"...an invaluable compendium of information on the most pressing challenge in business today"

Sean Kelly
data quality
"At last! Something on data even an old Luddite like me can understand!"

Drayton Bird
data quality
"...a really useful resource to understanding all issues relating to data management"

Prof Derek Holder
Institute of
Direct Marketing
data quality
"...a down-to-earth, no-nonsense site designed to cover the new practices and theory of Information Management"

Simon Lawrence
Information Arts
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