What can Data Migration guys teach our friends in the Data Management community about how to get their Data Quality projects up and running and what do we get in return?
On the International Association Information Data Quality (IAIDQ) LinkedIn group there is one of the longest running threads I have ever contributed to. Going back to 2010 and still sporadically kicking into life it embodies the cri de coeur of the embattled Data Management and Data Quality community as repeated in times across the different discussion forums. Put into plain English it could be interpreted as “How do I get those fools upstairs to listen to me?”. The point at issue is that we all know both intuitively and by case study just how much we are wasting on poor quality data but getting anyone off their backsides to actually do something about it is nigh on impossible.
The situation is even worse for those poor benighted souls who are given the hopeless task of getting a data initiative up and running. Ground down by responses that range from lip service at best through mild indifference to outright hostility they slog their way through cycle after cycle of gaining momentum only to see it fizzle out again as senior management attention swivels away to something else.
In one sense it is easy to see why this is the case. Your colleagues in Sales, in Marketing, in Finance, in Production – they have their own crises, deadlines and careers to look after. They may see the value of your proposition but right now they have other more urgent things to do. Things that are on their key performance indicator list. Things that contribute to their bonus. Things that measurably contribute directly to the bottom line or simply to getting their job finished on time.
This is even if some of those “things” are directly attributable to bad data. And they know it!
In the first of my recent white papers here on the Experian website I called this the St Augustine principal, adjusting the pious prelate’s famous aphorism “Make me good lord – but not yet” to “Make my data good Lord – but not yet”. And this is very much what we face when we attempt to launch Data Quality initiatives. No one will vote against it in principal but in practice, now is never the right time.
So what am I offering here? Well not a universal panacea but there is a quid pro quo to be had by climbing onto a passing Data Migration band wagon because we sure as heck need data skills. We need Data Discovery, Data Modelling, Data Profiling, Data Quality and even a touch of Master Data Management. What we don’t want and what will probably be ground under the wheels of the unstoppable rush to hit our end dates, is meddlesome monitoring and assessing. Enterprise application refreshes are big complex things with many parties and many different priorities in play. They are not easy to influence and they have a lot of momentum behind them but get on board successfully and the project will bequeath you a vehicle you can continue to drive forward to ongoing data quality success long after the dust has settled on the migration project.
Come join my webinar on the 9th October and I will share tips about what the DQ community can bring to the journey and the major payback they get in return, if we get the synergies right. Let’s get this conversation started.
I look forward to speaking to you on the 9th.
Follow me on Twitter @johnymorris #PDMv2