Opinion: Data Quality Is Everyone's Problem - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
Software // Information Management
Commentary
8/30/2004
05:24 PM
Stephanie Stahl
Stephanie Stahl
Commentary
50%
50%

Opinion: Data Quality Is Everyone's Problem

There has to be accountability for good-quality data at all levels in the organization--from the data-entry clerks all the way to the CEO.

The sports news has been filled with stories about the errors in gymnastics scoring, another company had to restate its earnings because of an accounting error, a catalog company sent me the wrong order, and I got another piece of mail from my bank offering me one of its credit cards (I already have one, thank you). These are just a few of the data-quality problems I've come across over the past couple of weeks. Larry English, president of Information Impact International, could tell you about thousands of examples--some minor (name misspellings) and some tragic (medical data errors)--that he's found while studying and consulting on the topic. I had a chance to chat with Larry and other data-quality experts at an event last week.

It's a problem that can cost companies 10% to 20% of operating revenue to do what Larry calls "information scrap and rework." Yet so many companies continue to operate with and share bad data. It's the cause of project failure for CRM, business-intelligence, and decision-support systems. Granted, new regulatory demands have brought the issue into the spotlight, but it still needs to rank high on the priority list for many companies. Not only are hard dollars at stake, but also customer loyalty, reputation, or, in the case of health-care providers, people's lives. It threatens collaboration, knowledge sharing, productivity, and real-time decision making.

Some advice from the experts: There has to be accountability for good-quality data at all levels in the organization--from the data-entry clerks all the way to the CEO. Fixing (and eliminating) the problem has to involve a strong methodology and new business processes, not just technology. Line-of-business managers must assume responsibility, not just dump it in the IT department's lap.

Stephanie Stahl
Editor-in-chief
[email protected]

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Slideshows
Top-Paying U.S. Cities for Data Scientists and Data Analysts
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek,  11/5/2019
Slideshows
10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2020
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  11/1/2019
Commentary
Is the Computer Science Degree Dead?
Guest Commentary, Guest Commentary,  11/6/2019
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Video
Current Issue
Getting Started With Emerging Technologies
Looking to help your enterprise IT team ease the stress of putting new/emerging technologies such as AI, machine learning and IoT to work for their organizations? There are a few ways to get off on the right foot. In this report we share some expert advice on how to approach some of these seemingly daunting tech challenges.
Slideshows
Flash Poll