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Expert: Tackle data quality "head on

Rachel Wheeler Archive
Addressing data quality is a vital concern in business, no matter the industry. According to Harvard Business Review's Thomas Redman, however, even companies aware of the need to prepare and sanitize their data may run into problems.

Redman stated that business departments that discover information inconsistencies may fix it themselves instead of notifying the problematic section. This, he said, is a mistake. He emphasized that others using the information may not be able to detect the problems and advocated instituting data quality initiatives at the point of creation rather than point of use.

In Redman's view, data quality initiatives consist of data creators and consumers, and when the consumers detect trouble, they must communicate it directly and immediately to the creators. While the process sounds intuitive, he stated that caution can fall by the wayside.

The importance of data quality tools can go beyond the risk of making incorrect decisions. Poorly curated data, according to Business 2 Community, also takes more time and work to use. The source stated that in departments such as sales, routine processes such as searching for leads can take more time when undertaken on large, low-quality databases.