When is the BEST time for a Data Quality Review?

The quick answer to this question is NOW! However for most organisations, performing a data quality review can be a long-winded exercise. From my experience, following are some perfect opportunities to not only perform a data quality review, but also to resolve any data quality issues:   1. When planning to implement a new system and migrate existing data to it Why? Because you don’t want to be implementing a new system and transferring all the existing data issues to it. This is generally the one time where it can be easily justified as to why you need to get your data quality right. 2. When you need to share data with trading partners Why? Because you don’t want your organisation to look silly by providing information that is out of date or incorrect as the resulting issues can be costly. Imagine shipments being sent to the wrong customer address or your manufacturing partner has just made 10 times more parts than you require for your equipment, due to incorrect data that your organisation provided. 3. When you need reliable information to perform analytics or make decisions Why? Because you want to be making decisions using information that is accurate! What’s the point of making a decision on which existing product line to invest in, when your inventory transaction data is incorrect? 4. When you need assurance prior to an audit Why? Because failing an audit can be a costly exercise, ranging from warnings to loss of licence to operate. 5. NOW! Why? Because your organisation should be operating with accurate and reliable information at all times. You cannot...

3 stand out points from the HBR case study on Data Quality issues at AT&T

As I read the recent HBR article “Even the Tiniest Error Can Cost a Company Millions“, three key points stood out:  The perceived problem isn’t always the real issue. It can be a manifestation of a different problem, related to a process or a system. As you dig deeper into data quality issues, it can reveal some surprising insights into the everyday operation of a business – and more opportunities to improve how things are done.  The approach to investigating and resolving data quality issues will vary depending on circumstances. For example, the volume of data, turnaround time for transactions, the type and nature of information contained in the data, and available resources all play a part in how you approach the problem. As with most improvement initiatives, acknowledging the existence of a problem is always the best starting point. You can only improve from...

Seeking a WordPress developer

I am looking for a WordPress developer to help me with some projects on an ad-hoc basis. Below is a list of required skills, experience and other attributes. It will ideally suit an independent contractor, a small business, or someone seeking part-time work.   Technical Expertise WordPress Configuration & Administration Customise WordPress Themes Configure & Customise WordPress Plugins Excellent with PHP, HTML, CSS A good grasp of SEO Website Administration, including cpanel Experience A track record of past projects, which can be independently verified. Other Requirements Ability to follow direction Ability to work under minimal supervision Good communication skills Be organised Have access to own tools including pc/mac and relevant software (licenced of course!) Please fill in the form below if you are interested and I will endeavour to respond within 2 working days: Name(required) Email(required) Contact Number(required) Website...

5 ways in which poor data quality can cost you

We all know that data quality issues can cause frustrations, delays and hinder decision making. What we don’t always appreciate is that there is a cost associated with these data quality issues. In order to elaborate this point, I’ve described 5 ways in which this cost manifests itself along with some examples of what happens in real life: 1. Cost of fixing data Your team is always in fixing mode, ensuring all data issues reported by users are being resolved ASAP. That’s great news for the users! Whilst this is a common situation in many organisation that I have come across, what these organisations (or their managers) fail to see is that they’re investing their technical resources to fix data problems instead of focusing on value creating activities within the organisation. In effect, these technical resources are merely expenses to the organisation. The cost to the organisation manifests itself through the hiring of new resources to perform the value creating activities or through delays to these projects due to their reliance on resources with other, more important, priorities. 2. Fines & Penalties Let’s go back to the first example. Now, what about all those data issues that haven’t still been identified or reported by users? What if your organisation is legally obliged to respond to customer correspondence, warranty claims, etc within a certain period? If no one notices that something is missing, it won’t be reported, and won’t be addressed. Just the simple action of doing nothing because nothing appears to be wrong in itself is likely to lend your organisation to being fined by the authorities or regulatory bodies. Again, a simple solution...

5 reasons your organisation should have clean data

Many organisations constantly live with data issues, justifying it on the basis of “this is how things have always been” or “it’s too hard to fix the problem”. On the other hand, by doing a few simple things to resolve these issues, they can benefit much more. Below are five reasons why every organisation should strive to have clean data in their systems: 1. Enhanced Decision Making All your decisions will be based on accurate information, and not guesswork. And your decision making will be quicker, as you are not waiting for the data to be “fixed” before you receive it. 2. Improved Cooperation with your partners You can confidently share information with your clients and suppliers, knowing it is correct. This is turn will improve the trust and cooperation between your organisation and it’s partners. 3. Saves Time & Money You’ll spend less time fixing up issues in your reporting, budgeting, planning, schedules, etc., and in turn save money. Staff can be doing the higher value activities rather than fixing up data problems. 4. Improved staff morale Your staff will feel less stressed and not be frustrated by having to deal with incorrect information, or having to fix up mistakes caused by poor quality data. and finally, avoid the stick… 5. Keeps you out of trouble As you aren’t misrepresenting facts and figures to your board, investors and regulatory authorities, you won’t get yourself or your organisation into a pickle.   This article was first posted on my personal blog on 17th June...