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About DCAM
About DCAM

about dcam

Data Management Capability Assessment Model

The Data Management Capability Assessment Model (DCAM®) is the industry-standard, best practice framework designed to assist today's information professional in developing and sustaining a comprehensive data management program. DCAM is organized into seven major components. Each component is defined by a series of required data management capabilities with each capability supported by a series of sub-capabilities, objectives, implementation advice and sample artifacts of evidence needed for verification of achievement.

DCAM was developed based on the collective experiences of hundreds of data management professionals.

  • DCAM is the synthesis of research and analysis of data management practitioners across the industry.

  • DCAM was developed following the Socratic method of question and debate, to ensure the model is practical and in line with core principles of data management.

  • DCAM is designed to be applicable and easily understood by non-specialists, while structured for continued improvement across an entire organization.


DCAM was originally published in 2014. An updated v2 was released in May 2019. The updated version removed duplication and streamlined the sub-capabilities across 31 capabilities organized into seven components.

Introduction of New Concepts

  • Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence the increased use of innovative analytics and methodologies like machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) introduce new data challenges and opportunities

  • Data Ethics – advanced analytics expose an organization to increased risk from the misuse of data; data use and outcome are not simply  legal questions but also ethical questions

  • Business Process Design – the role of the business process is emphasized to define requirements for data and data management and troubleshoot root-cause-fix; this also introduces the requirements for standard end-to-end DCAM processes

Enhancements to the Content

  • Standard Language – improved the consistent use of language and overall readability

  • Data Management Business Glossary – applied the discipline of aligning to the use of terminology as defined in the EDM Council Data Management Business Glossary

  • Rating Guidance Standard Language – established consistent language to describe the six assessment scores of a sub-capability to simplify the respondent scoring process

How is the model applied?

Firms are utilizing DCAM in a variety of ways throughout the data management program lifecycle.

Program Initiation

  • DCAM serves as a guideline to help launch new data management programs as well as align existing programs to best practice.

  • DCAM provides an established set of criteria for sustainable data management implementation and growth.

Current State Assessment, Benchmarking and Regulatory Readiness

  • Firms are utilizing DCAM to evaluate their programs, educate their stakeholders, identify gaps and compare their progress against industry peers. 

  • DCAM assessments provide demonstrable and auditable evidence to market authorities on the adoption of data management best practice.

  • DCAM directly maps to the risk data principles of BCBS 239 and GDPR


Education and Certification

  • Strategic Concepts in Data Management: This half-day course supports understanding data as a strategic asset that is fundamental to every business. Whether you are new to data management, a seasoned data management professional, or a business professional who relies on data, this course will provide the business case for data management plus why and how data needs to be prioritized and curated. You’ll learn about the critical concepts of data management; how data is defined, designed and engineered and how it can be put to work. This course includes an overview of the DCAM Framework. 

  • The DCAM Framework (v2): This two-day course provides a comprehensive perspective on capabilities needed to develop and implement a practical data management function. The curriculum is organized into DCAM v2's seven core components covering over 100 essential data management capabilities. Each capability is supported by a series of requirement statements including specific objectives, scoring guidance, implementation advice and artifacts needed for evaluation of data management programs. The latest DCAM v2 Course includes new capabilities for the provisioning of data to advanced analytics and AI/ML initiatives and includes data ethics.

  • Data Management for Executives: This 60-90-minute tailored program is designed to put the principles and capabilities into perspective for line of business and executive management. Participants will gain an understanding of the challenges of managing data precision as well as the requirements for successful data management program implementation