Before expending lots of time (and money) polishing and honing your data to perfection, have you assessed whether you are improving the right data?
Over time business requirements change and what was once critical data for certain business activities, may no longer be critical – there may be other sources for this data, or the business process using it may no longer exist.
Similarly, new requirements for data may have arisen which do not have the required quality or quantity of data available, so this data will need to be obtained.
One organisation I have been working with reviewed the attributes that they had traditionally been gathering and managing for a particular entity and found that they were requesting 160 attributes from data providers. When an objective review of the need for these attributes was undertaken, it was found that only around 60 actually had a valid business need!
Another organisation went through a similar exercise assessing all the attributes required to support their many business processes. They had expected that many hundreds of attributes would be required, however, they found that in fact only five specific groups of attributes (e.g. dimensions) were actually required.
So, are you improving the right data?