Is data quality an issue that is being raised in your business? Might you have a data quality issue that needs to be addressed?

Is your data easy to find, available when you need it, includes everything you need – is secure, easy to understand, correct and accurate? If you trust the data that underpins your information, and have confidence in the speed and reliability of your information, then you have good quality data and a proper business system.

If you don’t trust your data, or you lack confidence in your information or it lacks consistency across departments, or it takes too much time and effort to extract, then there may be room for improvement.

what-is-data-quality-and-why-is-it-important-for-your-business

What is Data?

Most businesses today generate lots of data. Data is just facts. Put together in context, data will lead to information. Information is the lifeblood of any business and is a precursor to knowledge and wisdom. Information asks the core questions; the ‘who, what, when, and where’. ‘How and why’ questions arise at the knowledge level, and finally, with wisdom, you address the ‘what if’.

Where does your data come from?

The origin of your data is likely an output from your business systems. And that is likely to be a technology solution or solutions.

But, if you have good data, does that imply you have good systems? Conversely, if you have poor data, does that mean you have poor systems?

Data quality is very often a cultural issue. It usually starts at the top of an organisation with an attitude that places data quality as a core pillar of business success. It is easy to say you need to prioritise data quality and that you need better quality data. But, how do you improve your data quality and what do you need to to achieve this goal?

Technology is always part of the issue.

Sorting data quality issues is often delegated to IT. But is that the right department? They may be responsible for technology, but are they best placed to lead a solution?

  • The largest database system in the world and the heart of more “systems” than any other single technology is the humble Spreadsheet. Excel, or Google Sheets. When we need to know something, or track something, someone will issue an edict; ‘start a spreadsheet’, or ‘Add it to the spreadsheet’ and so on.
  • The second technological problem is now SaaS; the ubiquitous Software as a Service. With an Internet connection, a credit card, and a good salesperson, any department can have any system they think they need or want. “It will solve all your issues and run brilliantly!”; so, you sign up and off you go.

But, are these a solution, or a part of a greater problem?

The reality is that both of these technology solutions have started with the business and the business is responsible for what follows. It is the people and the organisation that determine what data is required and how it will be acquired. Your data and data quality is a product of the Business; the people, the organisation, the processes and the technology used by the business. Any issues are rooted in this complex ecosystem.

How can you address Data Quality Issues?

We are sad to report that, despite all the clever technology at our disposal, we still do not have access to a magic bullet.

  • It is unlikely that you will find a singular technology fix for your data quality issues.
  • Any fix you do implement is going to take time to bear fruit, so the sooner you start, the better.
  • Finally, by pointing a spotlight on IT or BI, you are unlikely to be looking at the team that’s best suited to leading your resolution.

Data Quality Responsibility

The responsibility for data quality is a senior post, rooted in the commercial side of the business.

This role is normally fulfilled by the Chief Information Officer, CIO or the Chief Operating Officer, COO. They combine the commercial needs of the business with a good understanding of the role of technology.

  • They must bring a vision to your data flow, and an oversight of your people, processes and how they contribute to that flow.
  • They are not wedded to any department, but work for the wider needs of the business.
  • They must be in a position to be able to drive changes throughout the business.

Better quality data leads to better business decisions and therefore to better results. Quality Data in a business adds value both by increasing profits and by being viewed as a Data Centric Organisation.

How can Intelidat help improve your data quality?

At Intelidat, we focus on the information needs of any business. We understand the overlapping requirements of the whole of the Data Ecosystem. How people, processes and technology play their part and how all of these have to meet the commercial needs of the business through Intelligent Data. We can help you see the wood for the trees and break down the solution into logical steps to follow.

If you want to discuss how you can start addressing your Data Quality concerns, please contact us today.

Ask yourself…

  • Do you trust your data?

  • Do you have confidence in your information?

  • Do you understand how your data flows through your business?

  • Can you access the data you need, when you need it?

Get in touch…

If you would like to discuss your needs, please call 03300 436949, or fill in our online enquiry form.