- Published: 20 March 2012
Developing a Certified Profession
A certified profession means that the members of the profession can be certified at different skill levels and in different subject areas. The different skill levels are like the trades, with novice, apprentice, journey, master, and so on, or like medicine, with aides, technicians, nurses, doctors, and so on. The different areas are like the legal profession, with family law, corporate law, personal injury law, and so on.
Several organizations, including DAMA International and the DAMA International Education and Research Foundation, have made progress with certifications. However, many of these certification efforts overlap and are in competition. In addition, the certifications need to cover a wider range of skill levels and topic areas. If multiple organizations offer certifications, one overarching authority must certify those organizations so they can issue professional certifications, much like degrees in higher education. One overarching construct for certifications needs to be implemented before a profession can have certified members.
Recognizing the Profession
A recognized profession means that the professionals are recognized by other professions and by organizations hiring those professionals. Recognition is a key initiative that has been largely ignored in data resource management. The question becomes how does data management become recognized as a profession?
Data management professionals have been challenged to be recognized. The existing business environment demands on-the-spot solutions which are detrimental to data management. created a lexical challenge, caused paralysis-by-analysis, developed brute force physical databases, created hype-cycles, and so on. Today, the trend is improving with the use of data analytics and emphasis on organizational data integrity and quality.
Professional organizations and data management professionals must work extra hard to overcome the past stigma about data management. They must earn the respect of business professionals because the end product of their work is better business insight and decision-making. They cannot demand that respect. That attitude must change before a data resource management profession can be recognized.
A respected profession means that the professionals are respected by their peers, other professionals, and their employers. Currently, the data resource management profession has little respect. The few efforts made toward gaining respect involved respect being demanded rather than earned. Like recognition, respect must be earned through performance.
Much of the lack of respect has been due to the past actions of data management professionals, and some has been due to lack of visibility. In either case, the responsibility for earning respect is up to data management professionals, themselves. Only the data management professionals can earn the respect they deserve.