Is Data Quality Impacting Your Business?

We take for granted the pervasiveness of data in our everyday business lives.  Every aspect of our business operations, from customers to purchasing to sales to manufacturing and beyond, is rich in data collected from a huge variety of sources. But how much do we know about the quality of this data? We wouldn’t accept manufactured products or software that didn’t go through a QA process, but strangely enough we tend to implicitly trust our data and base significant decisions on its accuracy.

Problems with data quality can be found along many different dimensions. These include:

  • Accuracy – does the data correctly represent the collected or measured facts? Is there spurious data or unnecessary duplicates?
  • Accessibility – can the data be easily retrieved?
  • Completeness – are some elements of the data missing? Is it complete enough for our business needs?
  • Timeliness – is the data up-to-date enough to provide business value?
  • Consistency – as transactions are performed over long periods of time, is the data and its relationship to other data still valid or has “drift” crept in?
  • Representation – is the data represented consistently across multiple sources?
  • Relevancy – is the data actually pertinent to the business problem we’re trying to solve?
  • Provenance – can the source of the data be trusted?
  • Objectivity – is the data biased or prejudiced in some way?

Is Data Quality Impacting Your Business?Issues with data quality can manifest themselves in many different ways. In a merger scenario, the business systems of the two companies are frequently merged or migrated, and massive amounts of customer and internal data need to be transformed and moved. Problems with data quality can make this process grind to a halt as teams scramble to scrub the data so that it can be migrated before a deadline.

In a Business Intelligence scenario, data quality problems can result in wrong conclusions being reached and suboptimal strategies being implemented. Imagine a manufacturer making forecasts based on faulty retail sales data – the financial impact can be substantial. For financial reporting and compliance, the stakes are even higher.

 

GRT is ready to provide solutions to your data quality problems. Areas we can help include:

  • Evaluation of your current state of data quality
  • Development of Data Quality Policies under the umbrella of a Data Governance program. These policies ensure that all stakeholders in the organization are in sync regarding expectations along the data quality dimensions listed above.
  • Including data quality solutions into the data integration process, so that data quality is not an after-the-fact Band-Aid applied to a problem
  • Creating a continuous data quality monitoring solution so that quality problems can be dealt with proactively
  • Development of Master Data Management processes, polices and tools to avoid inconsistent use of the same data by different parts of your organization
  • Data Profiling, to evaluate the accuracy and relevance of data before it’s used
  • Deploying tactical solutions for data validation, cleansing, matching, de-duplication, etc.

Lack of data quality can have a significant impact on your organizations ability to accurately process transactions and make informed decisions.

 

To learn more about how GRT can help reduce the risks from data quality problems, contact us.