Do we really need a business case for data quality? (Discussion topic 2 for upcoming TDWI DQ event)Do we really need a business case for data quality?
On the 28th of february2011 TDWI in Finland is organizing a Data Quality seminar with yours truly as the speaker (event link: http://www.tdwi.fi/tapahtumia-events/). Apart from the main presentation we will also have two round table discussions. The idea is to spark interesting discussions based on your experience and knowledge around your data centric business challenges. Please feel free to start the discussion by commenting this post, based on the question above!
Dario Bezzina (http://www.affecto.com & http://www.betterdataquality.com)
According to me, it depends on who is responsible for the decision. If You address those sitting in the IT business who understand very quickly the benefits of doing this as opposed to those which govern the operation in the management team that is not always directly linking poor data quality to a loss of business efficiency and reduced profits. Do not misunderstand me. I would say that a business case, of course, is sound in order to make well-founded business decisions.
When I started focusing on data quality technology 15 years ago I had great expectations about the spread of data quality tools including the humble one I was fabricating myself.
Even if you tell me that tools haven’t spread because people are more important than technology, I think most people in the data and information quality realm think that the data and information quality cause haven’t spread as much as deserved.
Fortunately it seems that the interest in solving data quality issues is getting traction these days. I have noticed two main drivers for that. If we compare with the traditional means of getting a donkey to move forward, the one encouragement is like the carrot and the other encouragement is like the stick:
o The carrot is business intelligence
o The stick is compliance
In both cases we probably won’t see so many business cases about data quality alone. Data quality will simply be a prerequisite for the higher cause.
In organizations with a mature perspective on the value of information, the value of high quality data will be clear. In organizations that are less mature, the value proposition needs to be established. You can probably guess that there are a lot more immature organizations than mature ones.
At my company, we are frequently engaged to help do data quality impact evaluations and data quality assessments in order to justify the need for improved data quality. So from our experience, I’d have to suggest that developing a business case for data quality improvement provides not only a justification for improvements but also provides measures to determine which improvements to do and the expected business benefit you will get from them.
However, admitting bad data not only exists, but that bad data is also having a tangible negative impact on business performance doesn’t seem to have motivated organizations to take action. Instead, many appear to prefer practicing bad data blame-storming, where the Business blames bad data on IT and its technology, and IT blames bad data on the Business and its business processes.
Is it really? — see also this blog as whole (link above)
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