Incoming: The Patterns of Data Management

August 1, 2008
By H. Mosher

In this month's Incoming column, Lt. Gen. Harry D. Raduege Jr., USAF (Ret.) talks about how management of data is so important. He looks at it from the enterprise level, discussion trends in how organizations can streamline data management operations through consolidation of data centers:

"It's all about the data" is a popular expression today. More and more, we've come to realize that data is the central building block for protecting, processing, sharing and storing information. And, as government and industry data owners learn to believe in these realities, they quite often decide to establish their own data centers to maintain control. On the surface, this might easily seem like the right thing to do, but it isn't always the best course to achieve effective consolidation. Being aware of data center consolidation experience and realities can save organizations large sums of money and improve operations.

You can read his entire piece here. But while the trend is interesting to discuss (and we'd welcome your comments on that as well), it brings up another interesting point: Individuals are just as likely to need "data management" skills these days, what with the incredible amount of information that flows through their email in-boxes and feed readers. So, for discussion this month: How much is too much information, and how do you manage it all?

Please share your thoughts in the comments, or discuss it on your blog with a link back to us. We'd love to hear from you!

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Helen - excellent topic to complement a good column by Raduege. No such thing as "too much information." Even though I feel the pain of info overload daily, I can't help it, I continually seek new sources and I think intell analysts and policymakers should be the same. To manage all of it, in my inbox I use Xobni and lots of Outlook rules (easy to set). As a feedreader I was using Google Reader for quite a while, but Outlook 2007 made the RSS integration so much simpler, right into my inbox where I can set up rules and filters easily so I use that now, also helps because it's all auto-archived. I have about 220 Google Alerts set up for keyword-searches across the web but especially across news feeds (on topics, people, agencies, Selective use of sidebar widgets to present keyword-driven feeds also, so that I have visual cues on "new stuff." Oh, and I make my wife read a lot of stuff to tell me the good bits :-)

Hi Helen - your post inspired me to think about new ways to deal with info overload in crisis using new tools, so check out my link here:

I like this topic.
For me, the problem of personal information management is that the most important details of my life (businesses and personal) are communicated from within MS Outlook.

Microsoft Outlook is proof that you CAN hammer a nail with a shoe. I read the news, monitor the competition, manage the cleaning service, schedule/write employee reviews, find new customers, worry about the soccer car pool, manage projects, meetings, plan my day, update projects, send invoices, write holiday cards and take care of customers - all in the same tool.

I'm waiting for the day that Outlook becomes a personal information management tool because I don't have time to learn how to use something else.

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