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Advocates must fight for data quality within their organizations

Rachel Wheeler Archive

Companies are beginning to realize that while working with big data can strengthen their decision-making capabilities and help them make money, accuracy is a factor that shouldn't go overlooked.

Business leaders are collecting data on consumers via a wide range of channels, including social media interactions and mobile apps, and a lot of it is prone to human error and technical malfunction. If companies don't take a moment to purify their data and get rid of clear imperfections, it could come back to haunt them later.

There are simple solutions to the data quality problems posed by massive clusters of information - email verification software can root out faulty contacts, for example. Unfortunately, companies often lack advocates who will stand up for quality. CFOs and CIOs are too busy redesigning their infrastructures on the grand scale to focus on minute details, and lower-level IT workers are too bogged down with other tasks to worry about quality.

The answer, therefore, must be somewhere in the middle. At the center of the IT hierarchy, someone needs to stand up and stress the importance of data quality.

Smart Data Collective recently highlighted this need. Dat Mai, a digital marketing specialist at Trillium Software, noted that quality specialists should speak out.

"DQ specialists and advocates need to actively sell the benefits of improved DQ to a range of people within their organization, ranging from senior executives to front end employees," Mai stated.

He conceded that "selling" the benefits of data quality can be difficult for tech-minded people with no background in sales. With the right strategies, though, they can pull it off.

If businesses don't make an effort to ensure data quality, they may find themselves wasting time and money on marketing and sales initiatives with no future. Investing in quality might be costly, but it will pay for itself with savings down the road.

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