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.


Changing your data requirements

The world is changing, people are changing, organisations are changing, and this is no different for data requirements. An organisation needs to accept this and makes sure that change requirements are captured, impact assessed, acted upon and communicated. 

During my career I’ve seen many approaches to configuration changes or data change management. I have seen approaches in organisations range from being totally non-existent right through to exemplary practices. It’s true that the process takes resources i.e. time and effort; to firstly put Change Management in place, and then the effort to maintain the process as a business as usual activity. However, this time and effort will reap dividends by reducing rework, ambiguity, process failure, etc. and create a defined and agreed data specification that will meet the needs of the business in terms of information requirements.


Garbage In, Gospel Out

Most people should be familiar with the old adage “Garbage In, Garbage Out” intended to remind people that if your input data is poor, then any outputs will also be poor.

There is a variant of this that cropped up in a discussion recently “Garbage In, Gospel Out”. So what can this mean and does it apply to your organisation?


Can creating surplus/profit by “sweating your assets” be made easier?

The social housing sector in the UK continues to operate in challenging times – the combination of a continued shortage of housing, reduction in grants from government and ageing asset stocks means that there needs to be a consistent drive to ‘deliver more for less’. Housing associations need to ensure they are:

  • Providing a sustainable future
  • Maintaining the reliability and quality of core services
  • Exceeding/Satisfying customers’ growing expectations
  • Investing in diversification and growth
  • Financially viable

It’s not an easy ask, is it? With resources sometimes already at the bare minimum, it seems almost impossible to produce more, but if we take a step back and think about how we make decisions at work, then it can become a much clearer picture. (more…)

Do you need a data MOT?

Image result for motHow you manage your data quality can have quite an impact on your organisation’s results.

If you think about taking your car for an MOT*, you’re taking it to be assessed against the criteria set out by the government to confirm it is legally roadworthy. It is a standard that you trust will ensure your safety in that vehicle.

Fingers crossed, it passes! (more…)

What does a data enabled organisation look like?

Many organisations use and manage data in ways that are less than ideal, however what does a data enabled organisation look like? This question was recently asked by one of our clients who wanted to find ways to visualise what their organisation could look like once they were managing and exploiting data effectively.

When describing data quality management, I often compare the parallels and contrasts with health and safety, however, in this blog post, I will compare the approaches to quality management with those of data management. (more…)

Are you a data hoarder?

How much data is enough data? This is a discussion often had within organisations where there are two broad groups:

  • Gather only the data you know that you need – the minimalists
  • Gather all the data you possibly can – the maximalists

There is arguably a third group – the employees who are involved in a process who would prefer to get by without providing any data at all, if possible, since completing call logs, feedback forms etc. is time consuming.

So what is the correct position? (more…)