by December 10th, 2014on
We have witnessed in numerous client engagements Data Quality (DQ) is a never-ending battle and in many companies IT is in the midst of fixing and re-fixing the data rather than developing solutions and managing the applications. Data quality is not confined to IT but it is an effort which involves all the users of the Data especially Business.
Building a company wide initiatives can be a hard sell as the enormity and the scope is complex. However applying some of the proven key strategies will help create the awareness and gain the support for DQ. The key idea is to not fix the problem over and over but understand and communicate the bigger picture to solve the problem as the IT and Business Information management matures.
If it is not measured you will never know what you are dealing with. Setting up key quality measures and documenting impacts is the best way to get support. As part of any key initiative include DQ measures which can be gathered and reported periodically. Having the key information metrics is sure way of getting the needed attention. Some of the measures could be as simple as:
- Down time caused by quality issues
- Man hours invested in repeat problems
- Ownership of the Quality issues
Any data project should consider the trust aspects of the data. Introducing Data certification process for adding new data, especially large batch data will add tremendous improvements in business participation and overall quality improvements. Measuring the key quality information like missing/null values and wrong information (invalid values), rejections, warnings should be communicated and remedied within the expected timeframe. Many times we find the fix is in the up-stream systems which will eliminate current and future data issues.
Creating a data certification process is the best way to engage the business and gaining their trust. The key idea is to make the business responsible for the Data not the IT.
DQ as part of SDLC
Data Quality should be part of SDLC to guarantee acceptable quality. Development Projects should include time for reporting the key quality measures. This will greatly improve the trustworthiness of the data which in turn helps the adaptations of the new application faster.
Governance is the best way to gain support for the quality initiatives, most of the time when it comes to cutting cost, quality related development time is cut out because it is perceived as nice to have. DG can mandate these requirements and get the necessary support. Make sure there is a process for getting on to the DG agenda and leverage it to bring about the DQ transformation.
In short, making incremental changes to existing process to quality as a key component will help build the case for the broader process changes and tools needed to manage the overall quality.
Link to earlier DQ blog: