Why CIO’s Need To Embrace Data Quality Management

I recently studied a discussion amongst CIO’s that talked about the biggest pressures they were facing right now. Some of the common themes related to:

  • Becoming more responsive to the business
  • Delivering better value for money, cutting costs
  • Reducing the high failure rate of IT initiatives

What is clear is that modern CIO’s view themselves as an integral part of the business, no longer dictators of IT strategy they wish to work with the business to predict where changes will be required in the future and proactively help the business adapt, remain lean and beat their competitors.

Data quality management should be firmly on the agenda of every CIO for the reasons listed above and many more.

Data quality improvement has been proven time and time again to help the business become far more agile and better able to cope with new situations. I’ve witnessed entire business strategies stalled because of a failure to introduce new systems into telecoms organisations. The single largest cause was attributed to poor data quality in legacy systems. High quality data enables far easier and less costly transition to new architectures.

Poor quality data creates a vast amount of waste, figures as high as 10% of revenue are often quoted. Whilst some CIO’s will debate these figures endlessly there is no doubting the fact that poor quality data directly creates higher costs and in a company with no data quality strategy in place it never takes long to find cost savings. In one organisation we found £50,000+ wastage in billing errors that had been taking place every month for years, totally unnoticed. Data quality management is a vital ally in helping the CIO demonstrate cost savings through system and process improvement.

IT failures are a common event and whilst data quality is not always the primary factor there is no doubting that when data quality management is incorporated into largely data-driven initiatives the outcomes are far more successful. By building data quality measures and controls into the project from the outset the final product is far more likely to delight the users and guarantee a faster ROI.

Data quality practitioners should be on the lookout for any opportunity to impress upon their CIO the importance of their work and how it maps directly to the CIO agenda. If you’re a CIO then it’s time you recognised the value that data quality teams bring to your strategic goals, particularly if you’re committed to delivering real value to the business.

What do you think? Have you directly benefited the strategies of your CIO? Please share your views below.