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Exploring DCAM
Exploring DCAM

exploring dcam

The DCAM Framework

DCAM addresses the capabilities needed to establish the data strategy, position the business case, implement the operating model, ensure funding and support the organizational collaboration necessary to govern the meaning, use and protection of one of a firm's most important assets - its data!

How DCAM is Constructed

Each component of DCAM is made up of a series of required data management capabilities. Each capability is then broken down into a series of sub-capabilities. For each sub-capability, DCAM provides descriptions, goals and objectives, challenge questions, artifacts of evidence and criteria for scoring.

How DCAM is Scored

DCAM is structured to define and measure data management capability. The singular goal of DCAM is the achievement of the requirements necessary to develop, implement and sustain an effective data management program. Each requirement clearly defines the rationale for the specified capability and the dependencies that link the components of data management into a cohesive program. DCAM is linked to a scoring matrix developed by the EDM Council to evaluate achievement of capability from three critical dimensions:

  • Engagement: to ensure that the right people with the appropriate levels of authority are participating in the data management program
  • Process: to measure the degree to which data management processes are established, structured and repeatable
  • Evidence: the business artifacts that are necessary to audit against each capability statement
crossing capability
Not Initiated

Ad hoc data management

(performed by heroes)


Initial planning activities

(white board sessions)


Engagement underway

(stakeholders being recruited and initial discussions about roles, responsibilities, standards and processes)


Data management capabilities established and verified by stakeholders

(roles and responsibilities structured, policy and standards implemented, glossaries and identifiers established, sustainable funding)


Data management capabilities adopted and compliance enforced

(sanctioned by executive management, activity coordinated, adherence audited, strategic funding)


Data management capabilities fully integrated into operations

(continuous improvement)

The model is structured to track progression as the organization moves from initial planning through stakeholder verification including both achievement and enforcement of the objectives. The model provides a list of essential audit questions to ensure that the capability is defined, understood, promulgated and implemented.

Scores of 3.7 and above indicate outstanding progress toward achievement. Scores of 3.4 and below indicate a significant amount of work remaining before achievement.