Being a keen cook, it struck me that data quality is the same as a recipe. If you use inferior quality ingredients, you won’t get what you expected.
For example, if you were making an apple crumble, and used bruised or rotten apples, and had flour that contained chilli powder, you certainly wouldn’t get anywhere near what you were expecting.
If we use data that is of poor quality, then how are we expecting to reach the desired result/outcome?
If we have gone to the trouble of cooking something from a successful, tried and tested recipe, then we are expecting that recipe to have had some kind of approval to ensure that it is correct and will produce the required end result.
Imagine what it would be like if you left out ingredients, or if you substituted the apples for tomatoes (because they’re still a fruit, right?)…. The same could be applied to data and if you kept on leaving more and more of those ingredients out, then you would be left with something not worth using. In this instance, you would have to make that data set redundant, and start again.
With the vast amount of data in our organisations, we couldn’t possibly cast an eye over it like a recipe to quickly notice if something is missing, or has a substitution. Especially if we are not the ones that work with this data on a day to day basis.
So, what do we do about it?
How to manage data quality can be a daunting thought, but with a framework such as ISO 8000-150 to guide you, and proven methods to support and implement it, it is achievable. Our training in data quality management can help ensure that your team have the understanding to improve the way that data quality is managed.
How much better off do you think your organisational outcomes would be if you were able to improve the way you managed data quality?
In case you’re interested, here’s the recipe for apple crumble.
For the crumble
- 300g/10½oz plain flour, sieved pinch of salt
- 175g/6oz unrefined brown sugar
- 200g/7oz unsalted butter, cubed at room temperature
- Knob of butter for greasing
For the filling
- 450g/1lb apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1cm/½in pieces
- 50g/2oz unrefined brown sugar
- 1 tbsp plain flour
- 1 pinch of ground cinnamon