Are you interested to know more about DAMA-DMBOK and DCAM differences and commonalities?

In the first article of this series, we have investigated statistics on the usage of data management (DM) models and maturity models, including DAMA-DMBOK2 and DCAM® 2.2, and have come to two conclusions:

  1. DAMA-DMBOK2 by DAMA International and DCAM® 2.2 by the EDM Council are the most-used industry reference guides.
  2. A significant number of companies either adjust or develop their models.

This article compares DAMA-DMBOK2 and DCAM® 2.2 concepts and their metamodels. We demonstrate DAMA-DMBOK and DCAM differences and commonalities.

To perform these challenging comparisons, I will use the key diagrams of the “Orange” model of data management by Data Crossroads.

The comparison of concepts

To demonstrate the DAMA-DMBOK and DCAM differences and commonalities, we investigate the following:

  • The content and format of these documents
  • The accessibility of the frameworks
  • Key building blocks of metamodels
  • The relationship between data management and IT function.

Let us analyze each of these factors one by one and start with the content and format.

The content and format

Both DAMA-DMBOK2 and DCAM® 2.2 are data management frameworks. Still, they have differences in both the content and format.


DAMA International defines DAMA-DMBOK2 as the DAMA Guide to the Data Management Body of Knowledge. “This is not a theoretical book, although it has authoritative theoretical substance. It is primarily a book of practice, experience, expression of what actually works by the very best practitioners in the industry today.”

DAMA-DMBOK2 is industry agnostic. In my opinion, DAMA-DMBOK2 is a great book to get primary information about data management components. Simultaneously, the practical implementation of data management based on DAMA-DMBOK2 requires a lot of extra development.

DCAM® 2.2

The EDM Council positions DCAM® 2.2 as “the industry-standard, best practice framework designed to assist today’s information professionals in developing and sustaining a comprehensive data management program.”

DCAM® 2.2 has initially targeted financial institutions. In my opinion, data management practices are rather industry-agnostic. It seems that DCAM® 2.2 has turned to serve different industries.

DCAM® 2.2 (The Data Management Capability Assessment Model) does not include any theoretical knowledge, so I would not recommend data management beginners start with this framework. DCAM® 2.2  has initially been designed as a data management maturity assessment model. The structure of version 2.2 remains the same. Each constituent component has six levels of maturity. In the materials opened to the public, I have not found recommendations regarding the practical implementation of the data management program.

So we can conclude that DAMA-DMBOK2 delivers theoretical knowledge and practical advice. DCAM® 2.2 has only a practical focus and allows companies to evaluate their data management maturity level and design a data management program.

Now let us look at the accessibility of these frameworks for usage.

The accessibility of the frameworks

DAMA-DMBOK2 is a document open to the public for a reasonable price. Companies can become DAMA International members, but the knowledge share remains open.

To get information about DCAM® 2.2 and use this framework, a company must be an EDM Council member. Such an approach creates difficulties for companies to assess the applicability of DCAM® 2.2 for their initiatives.

So, DAMA-DMBOK2 is far more open to the general public than DCAM® 2.2.

Now it is time to dive into the metamodels of these frameworks. We want to investigate DAMA-DMBOK and DCAM differences and commonalities.

DAMA-DMBOK2 and DCAM® 2.2 metamodels: differences and commonalities

Before the analysis, I want to align our mutual understanding of the term “metamodel.”

In this series, I apply the following definitions:

A model is an abstract representation of something, such as a physical object, process, phenomenon, etc.

Metadata is data that, in a particular context, defines and describes other data.

The metamodel is a model that describes metadata needed to specify other models.

The building block is a metadata element of a metamodel.

Now we can compare DAMA-DMBOK2 and DCAM® 2.2 and identify differences and commonalities.

We will start with the differences between models.

Differences between frameworks

DAMA-DMBOK2 and DCAM® differ by the following parameters:

  • The number of building blocks
  • The nature of business blocks
  • The content of business blocks.

Let us investigate these differences one by one:

The number of building blocks


DAMA-DMBOK2 metamodel includes 11 Knowledge Areas. They form the DAMA Wheel. Seven dimensions characterize each Knowledge Area: Goals and Principles, Roles and Responsibilities, Activities, Tools, Organization and Culture, Techniques, and Deliverables.

DCAM® 2.2

DCAM® 2.2 model includes eight components, 38 capabilities, and 136 sub-capabilities. Each (sub) -capability is described using objectives, advice, artifacts, and the set of maturity levels.

Neither DAMA-DMBOK2 nor DCAM® 2.2 define the meaning of these business blocks. Now let us investigate the nature of these blocks.

The nature of business blocks


DAMA-DMBOK2 operates with a Knowledge Area. But what does it mean? Knowledge Areas that constitute the DAMA belong to different categories. For example, Reference and Master Data Management and Metadata Management focus on managing a particular data type. Data Storage & Operations, Data Integration & Interoperability, Data Warehousing, and Business Intelligence belong to the data lifecycle management.

Another example is the management of different data types. DAMA-DMBOK2 recognizes four types of data: master, reference, transactional, and meta-data. DAMA-DMBOK2 has two Knowledge Areas: Reference & Master and Metadata management. The question is, “Where is the management of the transactional data?”

So, the logic behind identifying a Knowledge Area and linking them with each other remains a mystery.

DCAM® 2.2

DCAM® 2.2, in publicly open documentation, does not define its business blocks. The description of DCAM® 2.2 capability does not match the commonly used definitions of capabilities. The TOGAF ® Standard, Version 9.2, and The BIZBOK® Guide by the Business Architecture Guild agree that a business capability is “A particular ability that a business may possess or exchange to achieve a specific purpose.” One of the key rules is that a “business capability” defines WHAT a business does, NOT how and why. “The correct naming convention involves expressing the business capability as a noun (“this is what we do”) as opposed to a verb (“this is how we do it” – usually associated with processes).” Any (sub)-capability provided by DCAM® 2.2 violates this common rule. For example, the capability “Data Management Strategy (DMS) is Specified and Shared.” The definition of capability instead describes the maturity level of a capability, not the capability itself.

The content of business blocks.

To demonstrate DAMA-DMBOK and DCAM differences and commonalities, I use one of the basic diagrams of the “Orange” data management implementation framework.

First, a couple of words about the view on the data management lifecycle by the “Orange” model, as shown in Figure 1.

Data management lifecycle

Figure 1. Data management lifecycle.

  1. The business delivers value to its customers.

The business model can be described by using different methods. Porter’s value chain and Business capability model are examples thereof.

2. Data management is a business capability.

It means that data management can deliver business value, realize business goals, and produce expected outcomes. Data management supports businesses in achieving their goals. Data management enables the data and information value chains (data chains) that support business value chains. Data management delivers two key business values. It safeguards data resources/assets and has a value from them.

3. Data & information, processes, roles, and tools (technology) are components of data management capability.

I used the extended version of the “Orange” model diagram to demonstrate the differences and commonalities between the content of DAMA-DMBOK2 and DCAM® 2.2 building blocks. I also show the key blocks of the TOGAG® 9.2 as this framework has several similar capabilities. I compare the Knowledge Areas from DAMA-DMBOK2, components from DCAM® 2.2, and components of the Architecture Development Cycle from TOGAF® 9.2. I included TOGAG® 9.2 into consideration. The results of the components can be seen in Figure 2.


Below, you will find the explanation and the comparison of these models. The explanation starts at the top of the diagram:

  • Business models describe a business of a company. Business architecture is the capability that describes the business by using business models.

Examples are Porter’s Value Chain, Business Capability, and Business Canvas, models.

DCAM ® 2.2 and TOGAF® 9.2 include business architecture in their models.

  • Data management framework/data governance is the capability that enables the functioning of data management. It defines the set of rules and roles.

Both DAMA-DMBOK2 and DCAM® 2.2 models include this component. The differences in its content will be discussed in the following article.

One of the striking differences is that DCAM® 2.2 considers “Strategy and Business Case” and “Data Management Program and Funding” as independent components, while DAMA-DMBOK2 includes them in the deliverables of Data Governance.

  • Data Modeling and Design is a separate Knowledge Area in DAMA-DMBOK2. Its key deliverables are data models. DCAM® 2.2 includes data models either in Data Architecture or Data Governance. TOGAG® 9.2 considers data models as the deliverables of Data Architecture.
  • Only DAMA-DMBOK2 separates the management of different data types. From one side, this is digital data such as Reference, Master, and DAMA-DMBOK2 also pays attention to non-digital data in its Knowledge Area “Document and Content Management.”
  • Data ethics is not a component of the DAMA Wheel. Still, DAMA-DMBOK2 has described this topic in a separate chapter. DCAM® 2.2 includes this topic in the Data Governance section.
  • Both DCAM® 2.2 and TOGAF® 9.2 include Application and Technology Architecture. Yet, the content is quite different. An in-depth analysis will be available in the following article.
  • Data quality is a building block in both DAMA-DMBOK2 and DCAM® 2.2.
  • One of the key differences between DAMA-DMBOK2 and DCAM® 2.2 is IT-related capabilities that perform and maintain data lifecycle. DAMA-DMBOK1 has considered IT function as a parent to Data Management. Such an approach can be the key reason for such differences. In the last version, DCAM® 2.2 included Analytics in its list of components.
  • One of the DCAM® 2.2 components is the Data Control Environment. I could not find any place for this component in this picture. Based on the publicly available information, I can conclude that this component defines the collaboration between Data Management, Risk, and Audit. If that is the case, supporting capabilities like Risk and Audit should be added to the “Orange” model.

We have found significant differences between DAMA-DMBOK2 and DCAM® 2.2; let us look at the similarities.

Similarities between frameworks

DAMA-DMBOK2 and DCAM® 2.2 are similar in the following:

  1. These two frameworks have several similar building blocks, such as Data Governance, Data Quality, and Data Architecture. I discuss the differences in the content of these building blocks in the following article.
  2. All three frameworks mentioned above don’t consider the dynamic nature of data caused by the data lifecycle and documented by data chains. Data flows through the business. Different data management capabilities enable data lifecycle at different stages. This significantly affects the design of some data management capabilities.

The “Orange” model has added data chains into the data management model. It also has linked the involvement of different data management capabilities at various stages along with data chains.

  1. Both DAMA-DMBOK2 and DCAM® 2.2 provide some advice about practical implementation. Of course, maybe DCAM® 2.2 delivers some methodology to its members, but I could not find any reference in the public documentation. TOGAF® 9.2 is the exception, but TOGAF® 9.2 is the Enterprise Architecture framework, not Data Management.


  • DAMA-DMBOK2 and DCAM® 2.2 frameworks have differences and commonalities.
  • They differ by the number, nature, and content of business blocks.
  • They are similar in having several comparable building blocks.
  • These two frameworks don’t consider the dynamic nature of data caused by the data lifecycle and are documented in data chains.

You have become familiar with DAMA-DMBOK and DCAM differences and commonalities by now.

The following article will map DAMA-DMBOK2 and DCAM® 2.2 frameworks and investigate their differences in depth.

For more insights, visit the Data Crossroads Academy site: //