I love this recent strip from Dilbert because it sums up where so many companies are failing with their data quality right now. They’re creating good quality data, they have governance in place and stewards in abundance but where they’re not hitting the mark is at the point of information consumption.
Going the extra data quality mile
I talked recently about the impact of poor data quality on retail consumers and this is a classic example of companies not going "the extra data quality mile". Your underlying data quality could be exemplary but if it can’t be consumed and acted upon then you’ve failed and all that hard work, is frankly, wasted. There seems to be a common trait with so many initiatives that data quality should only be managed as an internal asset. It should be tracked and tested as it flows through systems and feeds but once it is unleashed on the consumer then it’s beyond reach. This is clearly a mistake.
Involving information consumers
If there is one thing that data quality programs like those carried out by KFR Services teach us, it’s that we need to incorporate information consumers in the data quality lifecycle, they need a clear voice. In the KFR case study you may remember that consumers were given treats and rewards when they spotted data quality issues. This has a twofold benefit, firstly they discover defects but secondly, they invariably pass on feedback as to how effective the information is for helping them make decisions.
Look at your own data quality initiatives
Where is the energy and focus? Internally, amongst those data quality tools, ETL pathways and information chains or externally, at how consumers use and drive decisions, actions and benefits from your information? Is there a bias or imbalance in the way your rewards and measures are created?
Welcome your views.