Symptoms of data quality problems

Do you have a data quality problem?

A recent conversation about a large organisation highlighted an interesting question – How do you quickly and easily know that you have got a data quality problem? 

Clearly, you may have a data manager/ data team who are stating that data quality is poor/declining etc. But are they just obsessive-compulsive types who want everything perfect? 

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Two new data standards for all organisations

Relationship between BS 10102-1 and BS 10102-2

In February 2020, BSI released two new data related standards that should be considered by all organisations: 

  • BS 10102-1:2020 – Big data. Guidance on data-driven organizations 
  • BS 10102-2:2020 – Big data. Guidance on data-intensive projects 

Although the titles state ‘Big data’, this only reflects the committee that created them. They are in fact applicable to virtually all organisations. 

Read on to get an overview of what they contain 

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Has lockdown exposed your data weaknesses?

Staff can often be very resourceful in making poor systems and processes work and to overcome data problems within an organisation. If people are based in a single office then they can call out questions like:

  • “Do you remember who did…”
  • “How did we solve….”
  • “Where is the information on….”
  • And so on

I used to give a similar answer about why many smaller organisations were less affected by poor data quality than they would be if they were larger – namely, being close to colleagues and able to verbally resolve issues acts as a ‘sticking plaster’ to overcome data problems.

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Online training now available

To enable us to continue to support our clients during the changes arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, we are now offering online training at https://courses.dpadvantage.co.uk/.

Our popular ‘Managing Data Quality‘ course has been set up as four individual courses within an overall ‘bundle’:

  • The enterprise data asset – explanations of the basics of data quality, characteristics of enterprise data and the ways organisations tend to exploit this data
  • People and data – explanations about the generic behaviours people exhibit towards data using the Data Zoo concept, what drives these behaviours and how to improve data behaviours
  • ISO 8000-61 – A framework for data quality management – An explanation of the ISO 8000-61 process model and the individual processes within the model
  • Implementing data quality management – Steps to follow in order to develop a strategy to improve the approaches to data quality management in your organisation

All four courses are pragmatic and accessible with a clear focus on the people, behavioural and organisational aspects of data quality management. A free taster course is available here.

Further courses are being developed covering a range of business subjects.

Data quality is free

“Data quality is free. It’s not a gift, but it’s free. What costs money are the unquality things – all the actions that involve not getting data quality right the first time and all the actions to correct these data quality issues”
“Data quality is free. It’s not a gift, but it’s free. What costs money are the unquality things – all the actions that involve not getting data quality right the first time and all the actions to correct these data quality issues”

You may be wondering why you should bother improving your data quality or what the benefits of this activity may be. You may be wondering how to secure suitable resources and funding to deliver improvements to data quality. Read on to discover why ‘data quality is free’.

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Continuity – the new data quality dimension

When talking about data quality, it is usual to consider different aspects or ‘dimensions’ of data quality – validity, completeness, uniqueness, consistency, timeliness and accuracy. These six dimensions were agreed as the most relevant and representative of data quality as part of work led by DAMA UK that I contributed to in 2013 and published in this White Paper.

Some recent work and discussions suggest that there may be another dimension to consider – continuity. This blog post explores things in a bit more detail.

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