In today's competitive business world, Information is one of an organisation's most valuable assets. Like all company assets, it needs to be managed properly in order to provide maximum benefit. This involves many complex issues and access to suitable resources to achieve this is paramount. One such resource is always a professional organisation and DAMA UK has been established to meet this need. A "Question and Answer" session with Dave Evans, DAMA UK's Chairman, provides a valuable insight into how it was set up and what it has to offer.
What is DAMA UK?
In broad terms, DAMA UK is the UK Chapter of the US-based DAMA International, a leading organisation for data resource management professionals. It is a not-for profit limited company with a Committee of seven (volunteer) Directors, which meets monthly to plan all activities. The following sections will give the reader a more practical view of how DAMA UK operates and what it has to offer. DAMA UK was established in November 2002 and the inaugural meeting was held on 1 April 2003. A programme of quarterly events has been running ever since.
The objectives of the meetings are to provide members with the following:
- Best practices in Information Management (including industry sector influences),
- Case studies of good (and bad) experiences,
- Networking Opportunities, and
- Updates on legislation and regulation.
A further aim of DAMA UK is to influence future directions in various aspects of Information Management, including education, standards, and technology, regulation, and market practices.
How Does DAMA UK Meet These Objectives?
First and foremost are the quarterly meetings. These are held as themed events, e.g. Data Warehousing, Unstructured Data, or Data Quality. A typical format is an introductory key-note presentation on the theme of the day, followed by best practice and case study sessions. At least one meeting per year will be organised as a joint meeting with another appropriate organisation, e.g. the BCS Data Management Specialist Group and the Oracle User Group. To date, we have been fortunate enough to hear three world-renowned presenters, namely, John Zachman, Peter Aiken and Graeme Simsion.
A more recent development is the establishment of member-driven working groups. These will operate as small focus groups that will meet regularly for a given topic and report back to the membership at one of the regular meetings.
Further communication with the membership is achieved via quarterly newsletters, this web-site and our Linked In Members Group.
All of these activities need a certain level of funding and this is achieved in two ways:
- Membership can be individual or corporate and the Committee aims to keep subscriptions at a realistic and affordable level. This represents exceptional value-for-money when the discounts that are available to members for conferences in the UK and USA are taken into account.
- Although DAMA UK is vendor-neutral, subscriptions are supplemented by sponsorship and various levels are available. Additional invaluable support in terms of general administration and venues for meetings is provided by UKCeB and IRM UK.
Who Can Benefit From Membership?
Membership of DAMA UK is aimed at anyone involved in Information Management at any level within an organisation. The overall objectives of DAMA UK are to establish a good level of common understanding across the business and IT, focussing on business language rather than technical jargon, and to engender business appreciation of the importance of data resource management.
A number of major organisations within the UK have taken out Corporate Membership to DAMA UK. These include BT, Alliance & Leicester, Rolls-Royce, Ministry of Defence, Leeds City Council among others.
DAMA UK has risen to the challenge set by DAMA International in 2002 and has established a membership base that covers all industry sectors.
An annual programme of events is arranged to meet the interests and business needs of our members and includes a number of world-renowned presenters. Membership subscription levels represent exceptional value-for-money and increased membership levels will add to the benefits for the whole organisation.