Readers Sound Off On Data Quality - InformationWeek
Software // Information Management
02:35 PM
Ted Kemp
Ted Kemp

Readers Sound Off On Data Quality

Comments from Business Intelligence Pipeline readers illuminate how critical an issue data quality has become in the world of BI.

We asked you for feedback on the data quality issue, and Business Intelligence Pipeline readers responded in a way that illuminates how critical the topic has become in the realm of BI. Readers not only shared their frustration with managing data quality, but suggested a few fixes.

Budgetary limitations and long work backlogs were the two factors most frequently cited by readers as contributing to data quality problems. In short, IT has neither the funding nor the time to address data quality as much as it wants to. So what are organizations doing to overcome the challenge? We got a lot of solid feedback, much of it relatively simple, but effective.

An IT manager in state government said his department raises the priority attached to bad data by reporting relevant data problems to internal auditors and IT security managers. When those people get involved, data problems are more likely to get addressed. The same reader said giving business users greater access to data is often instrumental in uncovering and highlighting data problems. "When they encounter the deficiencies and realize the impact, they are much more likely to request or actively participate in the data cleanup," he said.

Improved training of data input operators came up with several readers. A reader with 10 years of experience as a consultant said untrained, unskilled workers are increasingly handling data entry due to cost constraints, which is worsening the data quality problem.

Readers' comments clearly indicate that meta data quality is highly important, though one reader said the concept of good meta data at his organization isn't always widely accepted from department to department.

Educating business users and management about the importance of data quality came up more than once, though few readers shared specifics on how to go about explaining the situation to those people. It's my hunch -- and let me know if you disagree with me here -- that a lack of communication about data quality between IT and business users is the single biggest stumbling block to fixing processes that lead to bad data.

"I don't think IT can divorce itself from data quality issues," said one IT professional. "I do believe that users of data need to participate in the improvement. Improved data quality [that comes from] the elimination of redundant data and the steps that cause errors is important to IT and user departments."

Thanks to everyone who wrote in with their thoughts on this topic. I welcome any other input readers have to share -- including responses to the comments I posted here. You can e-mail me here.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Oldest First  |  Newest First  |  Threaded View
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
To learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
2017 State of the Cloud Report
As the use of public cloud becomes a given, IT leaders must navigate the transition and advocate for management tools or architectures that allow them to realize the benefits they seek. Download this report to explore the issues and how to best leverage the cloud moving forward.
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
Join us for a roundup of the top stories on for the week of November 6, 2016. We'll be talking with the editors and correspondents who brought you the top stories of the week to get the "story behind the story."
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll