Where does data management fit into your business? Do you consider it essential? Is it part of your data privacy obligations?
In the big picture, what kind of consultants and companies do you want to do business with?
I’ve had an experience the last few weeks that really started me thinking about the last question. I was trying to do something that should be quite simple with one of our big banks. I know this will shock you, but it wasn’t simple at all.
In the quest for streamlining and economies of scale, your “relationship banker” no longer exists. In fact, your contact can be located in Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver or a bunch of other places. All you get is a toll free number, and someone answers the phone (maybe), and then you start your request all over again. In this big bank, going into the branch is useless, because all “business bankers” are hidden offsite.
In a nutshell, there is no personal service, and for the bank it’s all about being efficient and saving money.
Call me old-fashioned, but I prefer to know who I’m speaking with, and, more importantly, I expect them to have at least a general idea of what my business is all about.
That brings me to data management. I want an expert who will take the time to understand my business and its needs. Someone who will come up with recommendations and costs, and take the time to explain to me the pros and cons of each approach.
I want a person who will work the process to understand what is needed. I want to have confidence the solution is not being recommended because that’s the one he/she sells and makes money from.
Probably most important, I want an ongoing relationship so I don’t end up explaining my business to a new person every few months.
In my world, data management is closely tied to data privacy. Having them work in unison makes sense, but can only be achieved by a holistic, process driven approach. I want to be able to tell my customers, employees and suppliers that we have taken a thoughtful, personalized approach for data creation, usage and retention that makes sense, is easily explained, and gives everyone confidence we take it seriously.
We all want to be efficient. No one argues that. However, there are better ways to achieve this than letting a large company implement a cookie-cutter approach, without regard to your own wants and needs.
The banks have such a monopoly in Canada they can do what they want.
I’ll be darned to let data management companies do it.