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Decentralizing data quality efforts to overcome budget woes

Companies everywhere are beginning to realize their need to use better technologies for data quality, but following through on this ideal is easier said than done. It takes a lot of time to comb through data sets, find imperfections and correct them. What's more, it takes a great deal of technical expertise and money.

That latter point might be the most frustrating one for many companies, as businesses rarely have room available in their budgets for data quality efforts. They dedicate resources to collecting information about their clients, and to using it in analytics efforts, but quality concerns often go overlooked amid other business priorities.

This needs to change, as businesses will be seriously hampered in their ability to use data if they don't first ensure its accuracy. But how? What can corporate leaders do to focus on data quality without breaking the bank.

According to IT Business Edge, one possible approach is to decentralize efforts. It's common for companies to put all data-related responsibilities all on one person - the chief information officer, for instance, or another IT leader. This often doesn't work, as that one employee, or his or her department, may lack the resources to ensure data quality alone. Instead, companies can distribute this burden more evenly.

"Information is getting darned hard to manage and the information has a lot of moving parts," explained information management expert Loraine Lawson. "It might help to remember that in the end, you're probably going to need both a top-down, centralized approach, as well a bottom-up approach. Basically, you need data quality and data governance to be 'all around' and comprehensive. That's the big Nirvana of data management."

By sharing common processes across a company - encompassing customer service, sales, marketing and more - business leaders can better distribute their workflow. IT leaders will be thankful.