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Overcoming the stereotype that data quality is 'boring'

Richard Jones Archive

It's no secret at this point that every organization out there should have an interest, on some level, in data quality. Having accurate, reliable information helps provide context for any number of important business decisions. Clean contact data on your customers is invaluable, as it helps you send direct marketing messages to increase sales, while having good general knowledge of the industry is also vital. It can empower you to make big-picture decisions about the future of your enterprise.

It's hard to deny that clean data matters. As data mining and analytics become more and more popular, this is one of the key issues facing companies as they move forward. And yet there's a problem - all too often, people in prominent business positions are stuck with this perception that data quality is "boring." This leads them to neglect their data in favor of other, more glamorous business initiatives.

It's most definitely a mistake to think this way. Data might sound boring at first, but like math, it serves as a universal language. It bridges gaps between people and corporate departments. It helps everyone clarify their thinking and tackle key business problems. According to Smart Data Collective, this matters. MIKE20 Governance Association says that in order to shed the "boring" label from the conversation about data quality, it's important to change your tone.

"The next time you want to engage someone in a discussion about data quality, don't start by discussing data quality," the source stated. "Don't mention the processes of profiling, validating or cleansing data. Don't talk about integration, storage or reporting. And don't even think about metadata, lineage or auditability. Think about engaging in a manner that is relevant to the business community, using language and examples that are business-oriented. Make it fun."

Simply relabeling the dialogue with a few magic words can make all the difference. Data is about more than files and numbers - it's what helps people improve their thinking and businesses achieve success.