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Corporate changes required for data quality plans

Rachel Wheeler Archive
Data quality is critical to companies, and difficult to achieve as the amount of information generated by both human and automated means grows ever greater. With more data being created and kept all the time, large-scale changes are necessary to accommodate a new, information-driven way of doing business. Companies all over the world have been changing, making sure that they understand data quality at a basic level.

Top-down transformation

TechTarget recently explored the process of changing a company's structure to be friendlier to the concept of data quality as an important building block. According to the source, information cleansing strategies are at their best when they are proactive, developed in advance rather than in reaction to a specific problem. These plans come from the top, from high-level executives. TechTarget stated that the success or failure can hinge on whether IT employees make their supervisors aware of the importance of data quality tools in the workplace.

"Spelling out to corporate executives how data quality is central to the business strategy by showing concrete anecdotal and empirical evidence is a good idea," Gartner analyst Lyn Robinson told the source. "You would think that they would already connect these dots, but they have a lot of things on their minds."

Data quality efforts, at their best, are team efforts, with all of a company's divisions joining in, according to the source. TechTarget suggested that firms, once they have the go-ahead from corporate leaders, make sure that information about specific data quality issues is widely disseminated to business users. Workers in all levels of a company, even those with no IT connection, must have both the tools to address quality problems and the know-how to use them.

Tactics and recommendations

IT Business Edge recently presented ways to make sure data quality issues are widely known throughout a corporate structure. The source asked expert Jim Harris about the progress of quality initiatives. He stated that one of the great difficulties in data management came from a factor that many expected to be an asset - data is now a widely known quantity. No longer the sole provenance of IT users, workers in all sections of a company have some awareness of what data is and what it does. He stated that this means it has become taken for granted by officials, and aggressive education on its nature and importance is still a good, vital idea.