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DAMA-DMBOK© Overview

The DAMA-DMBOK© is the premier reference guide for all aspects of the data management profession, covering all components of data management with best practices and expert advice.


Every profession has its “body of knowledge,” a collection of best practices and proven techniques for performing the functions of the discipline.  Project Management has the PMBOK (Project Management Body of Knowledge); Business Analysis has the BABOK (Business Analysis Body of Knowledge).  A team of data management professionals, industry experts and editors has created the DMBOK© (Data Management Body of Knowledge) under the guidance and sponsorship of DAMA International, the professional organization for those who practice the various functions of data management.

DAMA-DMBOK© Structure

The DAMA-DMBOK© is a vendor-neutral, comprehensive reference guide to best practices in all areas of enterprise data management.  It is divided into the following sections:

  • Data Governance
  • Data Architecture Management
  • Data Development
  • Database Operations Management
  • Data Security Management
  • Reference & Master Data Management
  • Data Warehousing & Business Intelligence Management
  • Document & Content Management
  • Metadata Management
  • Data Quality Management
  • Professional Development for Data Management

The DAMA-DMBOK© states it is “an authoritative introduction to data management.”  The goals of the DAMA-DMBOK© Guide are:

  • To build consensus for a generally applicable view of data management functions.
  • To provide standard definitions for commonly used data management functions, deliverables, roles, and other terminology.
  • To document guiding principles for data management.
  • To present a vendor-neutral overview to commonly accepted good practices, widely adopted methods and techniques, and significant alternative approaches.
  • To clarify the scope and boundaries of data management.
  • To act as a reference that guides readers to additional resources for further understanding.

The book defines a standard industry view of data management functions, terminology and best practices, without detailing specific methods and techniques since each organization and practitioner will want to implement these best practices in ways that conform to their environment.  However, the Guide clearly states challenges to success, risks to avoid, and issues to overcome for each function.

Data Governance is the central function in the DAMA-DMBOK© Functional Framework, and all other functions / knowledge areas influence are influenced by data governance, according to this approach.  In the second edition of the framework, each function has a section that addresses the influence data governance has on that function.

Each functional / knowledge area is examined against seven (7) environmental elements:

  • Goals & Objectives
  • Processes and Activities Deliverables
  • Roles and Responsibilities
  • Principles and Practices
  • Technology
  • Organizational and Cultural Issues

The Environmental elements affect the functional areas in a variety of ways and this combination creates the best practices that are the heart of the DAMA-DMBOK©.


© 2008 DAMA International

The DAMA-DMBOK© is not a complete authority on any specific topic, but it is a major source of information written by a carefully selected set of industry experts in each discipline of data management.  Each chapter describes the function and its goals / objectives, puts the function into context with enterprise data management and the rest of the functions, provides detailed sets of best practices and proven methods for examining the function’s concepts, and presents suggested sources for further exploration of the topic from widely recognized publications, articles, and websites.  The Guide concludes with a chapter on data management professional development and the ethical treatment of data, and offers an extensive bibliography for additional reading into every area of data management at every level of practice.


The DAMA-DMBOK© Guide to Data Management is an essential reference for every data management professional, from novice to senior management.  Education in the DMBOK is available through several organizations, including EWSolutions

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Anne Marie Smith, Ph.D., CDMP

Anne Marie Smith, Ph.D., CDMP is an internationally recognized expert in the fields of enterprise data management, data governance, enterprise data architecture and data warehousing. Dr. Smith is VP of Education and Chief Methodologist of Enterprise Warehousing Solutions, Inc. (EWS), a Chicago-based enterprise data management consultancy dedicated to providing clients with best-in-class solutions. Author of numerous articles and a Certified Data Management Professional (CDMP), Dr. Smith is also a well-known speaker in her areas of expertise at conferences and symposia.

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