Monday, 15 October 2012

DAtar Qual8T, WOTz Dat?

What does Data Quality mean to you or perhaps your company? Naturally it’s not surprising opinions differ depending on the person you ask or for that matter the company. Some individuals are detail people and in which case if you are one you’ll know data quality does matter (everything does silly!).  It also matters to the companies out there selling data quality services and software products. Take BackOffice Associates (BOA) an ERP Data Governance experts who in a recent conversation concede, often 60% of an organisations data is of poor quality e.g. out of date, duplicates, mistakes with contact details etc.
Today if you are someone that has to enter information into a system on a regular basis you may share one of two observations. One - you are forced to update information by selecting one or multiple options from a look up list of significant length only to realise none of them suit. On the other hand you may be in a more liberal environment where you can freely annotate long rambling scriptures about how the customer is feeling whilst they were listening to your hold music.

Fast forward another ten years when the text generation put down their caps, peel off their skinny jeans and enter the workplace… what will happen then? Will they understand the meaning or even recognise the words available in the lookups? E magIn f3 txt fieldz!! It doesn’t bear thinking about!

OK so what does this really mean? Well I recall an article a few years ago by Thomas C. Redman that surmised “Poor data quality costs the typical company at least ten percent (10%) of revenue; twenty percent (20%) is probably a better estimate.” And this was eight years ago.

Then, now, in the future whether you endorse a force filed entry or a liberal free text field entry one thing is certain, mistakes will be made, it's human nature. What would that the 10 or 20% figure mean to your business? Fifty- sixty thousand? Over hundred? Millions! Well the good news is, at least you know!

Written by Ben Hedger, Senior Business Development Consultant, DSCallards.

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