Saturday, April 2, 2011

Data Quality - Let's not forget the people, people!

Looking around at what people say - there seems to be a growing conversation that data quality is not just about the processes. For me, data governance in its sociological context, coupled with a true understanding of the business impact - is the key for effective data quality management.

Of course you need six sigma, TDQM framework, Zachman framework etc. However, unless you explain to people that data quality is really about healing and preventing issues - you will never get past the budget and commitment for patch up jobs.

I am not negating data quality technologies, methods or metrics. On the contrary, these are essential tools to SUPPORT the data governance and ensure data quality compliance. The bottom line is that people need to believe that data quality is the right thing to do in order for them to commit to the role the play in this process. This, you can only achieve through positioning data quality against their true motivational drivers (the only real reasons they would agree to meet with you in the first place).

Strategy, budgets, relationships, politics, fears, aspirations etc - all play an important role here. While I support and believe in the traditional quality methodologies - data forms an essential part of the connection between the purpose of the business to the components which realize it. Therefore, the human element is a natural parameter in the equation. Remember the three types of resources which enable business (people, processes and technology)?

I will say it again: Let's not forget the people, people!

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