Data is everywhere! But can you find the data you need? Can you trust it when you get it? What can be done to ensure the quality of the data? How can you show the value of investing in data? These are not new questions, but many people still do not know how to practically address them within their organizations. The good news is that I have shared answers to these questions (from my 25+ years’ experience) in the second edition of my book, Executing Data Quality Projects: Ten Steps to Quality Data and Trusted Information™, 2nd Ed. (Elsevier/Academic Press, 2021).
The following are excerpts from the book, with a code at the end to get a discount on the book
My life is a data quality problem. I didn’t know it at first. I’m minding my own business and wham! A data quality issue smacks me in the face. It has happened again and again. The interesting thing is that your life, as an individual, is a data quality problem, too. Your corporation is a data quality problem. Your government agency is a data quality problem. Your educational institution is a data quality problem. Any organization is practically a living, breathing data quality problem. It’s just that most of them haven’t put a name to it yet. All organizations depend on data and information to provide their products and services – without exception. And the quality of that data and information, in most cases, is not up to the task.
Societies, families, individuals, and organizations of all types (for-profit, non-profit, government, education, healthcare, medicine, science, research, social services, etc.) all depend on information to succeed – whether they consciously recognize it or not. All are data-dependent, whether they deliberately manage their data and information to make better use of them – or not.
Being data-dependent is not new. What is new? More data, more kinds of data, more data being created, more automation, less visibility to the inner workings of how the data flows and is being used, information moving faster and faster around the globe. The excitement of new technology overshadows the data it creates or uses. The environments that create, update, and store data and make it available for use are more and more complex and opaque. The stakes are high. How many decisions are made every minute by your organization’s employees, business partners, and machines? What kinds of actions come out of those decisions? How does the data’s quality, or lack of quality, impact what they are doing?
The need for high-quality, trustworthy data in our data-dependent world will not go away. The pressure to create, improve, manage, and sustain the quality of data in our organizations will only increase. The question is, are you willing to do what is needed to meet these demands? Will you put as much emphasis on your data and information as you do on technology? Are you going to change in order to address the challenges, or will you keep doing whatever you are doing now – with no difference in the results?
I am reminded of a wonderful cartoon that came across my desk many years ago. The artist is B. Kliban. Imagine in your mind as I describe it. There are two men and one wagon full of round wagon wheels. With great effort, one man struggling to pull and one man pushing with all his might, they are moving the wagon full of round wagon wheels. But the wagon itself had square wheels! If you can get the visual of this, you recognize that had the men replaced the square wheels on the wagon with the round wheels they were transporting, they would reach their destination much more quickly and with much less effort than the effort it would have taken to change the wheels. They did not take advantage of the solution right in front of them.
This was a brilliant expression of what happens every day in our organizations. We move toward our destinations. With great effort we push and pull at the problems that get in our way, yet fail to use solutions that are right in front of us – solutions that would get us to where we need to be faster and with less effort. The Ten Steps methodology is the round wheel. Stop struggling and take advantage of the solutions offered in this book for the benefit of your organization. And enjoy the journey!
Note: Portions of this article contain material from the book, Executing Data Quality Projects: Ten Steps to Quality Data and Trusted Information™ 2nd Ed. (Academic Press/ Elsevier, 2021)by Danette McGilvray. This article copyright 2021 by Danette McGilvray, Granite Falls Consulting, Inc. (www.gfalls.com) All rights reserved worldwide.
Receive 30%* off all Elsevier Science and Technology print books and eBooks at Elsevier.com, including my second edition. Go to https://www.elsevier.com/books/executing-data-quality-projects/mcgilvray/978-0-12-818015-0.
Use promo code COMP30. Offer expires 31 December 2021.