“Too many times data is in the doghouse,” says Rick Sherman, explaining the title of his blog, “The Data Doghouse.” He says “companies have a lot of data but don’t seem to be too happy with it.” 

Rick, who founded his company Athena IT Solutions 20 years ago to serve the Boston area, traces a lot of corporate angst on the data intelligence front to the “accidental architecture” that often results when companies approach data gathering tactically rather than strategically. He finds the problem exists just as often in large companies as in small companies with few resources. 

In this interview with SmartData Collective, he explains how too many IT projects provide only short-term solutions. Management ends up frustrated not only because of the time and cost these projects consume, but also because the solutions are not responsive to their needs. 

Rick argues for creating an architectural blueprint and making sure someone is responsible for the balance between the hub (data warehouse) and spokes (data marts and cubes) of the company’s intelligence efforts. But he cautions that, important as architecture is, companies shouldn’t become too enamored of it. At the end of the day, the goal isn’t to perfect the data, but to “enable business to make decisions.”

Listen now: