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IBM To Offer Data Governance Consulting

The offering helps companies evaluate their data governance practices and then recommends improvements to address regulatory compliance, audits, and lifecycle management.

IBM on Wednesday plans to announce a new consulting service designed to help companies evaluate their data governance practices.

The new service is called the IBM Data Governance Maturity Model Assessment. It aims to measure factors such as organizational awareness, data quality, risk management, metadata, auditing, and reporting, and then provide recommendations for improvement.

"Every company is increasingly dependent on its data to drive revenue, cut costs, and reduce risk," says Steve Adler, program director of data governance solutions for IBM. "The governance of the appropriate uses falls increasingly on everyone in the organization. It's very much about organizational behavior."

For companies seeking to get a better handle on their data and data-management practices, IBM's new service goes beyond recommending ways to keep data safe. It attempts to address issues of regulatory compliance, audits, lifecycle management, and monetization, according to Adler.

The IBM Data Governance Maturity Model Assessment was developed as a benchmark based on input from the 47 organizations that participate in IBM's Data Governance Council, which the company formed in 2004. Recent additions to the council include Abbot Pharmaceuticals, Bucerius Law School, Discover Financial, Wachovia, and Washington Mutual.

Data governance "is becoming a cross-organizational political challenge," Adler says. "It has to do with the growing maturity of IT in general and the role of IT. As businesses start to realize that IT is a driver of growth, it becomes an important player in the boardroom."

IBM expects the service to be available in the first quarter of 2007.

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