Blue Ocean Technologies LLC
Business-Driven Technology Consulting

Data Capability Maturity Model

Blue Ocean Technologies has found that the five levels of the SEI CMM can be mapped to a data perspective based on the manner in which data is stored, managed, and maintained.
The Capability Maturity Model (CMM), published by the Software Engineering Institute (SEI), is a well-established, defined model that characterizes the software development maturity of organizations based on their practices and procedures. However, it does not address the maturity of organizations with regard to the manner in which data is managed.

Blue Ocean Technologies assists clients to establish a maturity model for either a department or the enterprise. A maturity model can be described as a structured collection of elements that describe certain aspects of maturity in an organization. A maturity model will provide, for example:

  • A place to start
  • The benefit of a community's prior experiences
  • A common language and a shared vision
  • A framework for prioritizing actions
  • A way to define what improvement means for your organization
  • A maturity model can be used as a benchmark for comparison and as an aid to understanding.

Level 1 - The Initial Level

  • The level 1 organization has no strict rules or procedures regarding data management. Data may exist in multiple files and databases; using multiple formats (known and unknown); and stored redundantly across multiple systems (by different names and using different data types).

Level 2 - The Repeatable Level

  • To move from level 1 to level 2 an organization must begin to adhere to a data management policy. Although level 2 organizations follow some sort of management policy, they have usually yet to institutionalize the policy. Instead, they rely on a central person or group to understand the issues and implement the data structures.

Level 3 - The Defined Level

  • Organizations that have successfully move from level 2 to level 3 on the data capability maturity scale have documented and established a data management policy as a core component of their application development lifecycle. The policy is enforced and testing is done to ensure that data quality requirements are being met.

Level 4 - The Managed Level

  • An organization can move to level 4 only when it institutes a managed Meta Data (data about data) environment. This enables the data management group (DA and DBA) to catalog and maintain Meta Data for corporate data structures.

Level 5 - The Optimizing Level

  • The level 5 organizations use the practices evolved in levels 1 through 4 to continually improve the data access, data quality, and database performance. No change is ever introduced into a production data store without it first being scrutinized by the data management organization and documented within the Meta Data repository.
2008 Blue Ocean Technologies LLC