Introduction: A Comprehensive Overview

We shall not cease from exploration

And the end of all our exploring

Will be to arrive where we started

And know the place for the first time.

—T. S. Eliot

The foundation for this books postulates that smart data and smart data strategy are essential elements for optimizing enterprise performance—the most basic executive responsibility. Smart data is a product of data engineering discipline and advanced technology. Making data smart enables a smart data strategy. Today, many organizations do not have a data strategy, much less a smart one, and the subject of data is not a part of executive's lexicon. Data should be at the top of executives' priorities when executing their responsibilities.

Joshua Cooper Ramo, Managing Director of Kissinger & Associates, advocates “resilience” [1] as the new strategic watchword. In computer technology terms, this means “the ability to provide and maintain an acceptable level of service in the face of faults and challenges to normal operation.” [2]

U.S. President Barack Obama describes this as “fits and starts” for which adjustments are needed as better ways to improve things are discovered:

We dug a very deep hole for ourselves. There were a lot of bad decisions that were made. We are cleaning up that mess. It's going to be sort of full of fits and starts, in terms of getting the mess cleaned up, but it's going to get cleaned up. And we are going to recover, and we are going to emerge more prosperous, more ...

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