The secret path to Data Quality and Busines Clarity

The secret to implementation of data quality is to follow the path below, mainly very Business Driven and focused approach extremely iterative and collaborative

The software or tools may change but the logical path, defined by identifying important business measurements required for successful and measurable results will not.

The key is not think of it as some kind of technical POC or tool trial.

It is important to realize “What” you want to measure and there by understand will not change, only “How” you create the result will change.

While many organizations are led down the path of creating a Data Governance Program, it’s frankly to large of a task, and more importantly cannot adequately be planned, with first implementing a Data Quality program, with analytical capabilities.

For example in the real world if you wanted to drill an oil well, first and before you plan, budget, move or buy equipment you would,  survey the land, examine the  minerals and drill a test well. This is not the same as in our IT data world as doing a vendor or tool Proof of Concept(POC) or a pilot to see if the vendor product works.

The oil company know exactly how there equipment works and the processes they will follow, they are trying to determine “where” to drill , not “how” to drill .

In our world , the IT WORLD, we act as if we need to “somehow” complete a “proof of concept” without really know exactly what concept we’re proving.

Are we proving the tool works, are we proving our data has errors or  our processes are flawed in essence we verifying that if we find bad data we want to fix them or the data, none of these concepts need “proving”.

My point is proving these low level concepts is probably worthless to the business and maybe even destructive, unless they are associated with a actual set of Business Goals or Measurements and they are linked directly with understandable Business deliverables. This is my way of saying put this information in an organized set of  spreadsheets linking business metrics, required fields and the order you analyze them and follow a proven process to document them and provide deliverables for both the business and technical needs.

When I say linking I mean creating an “information value chain” relating Business Goals :to Business Questions and breaking them down(decomposing)  them into the following:

  1. Business Goal – Corporate Objectives
  2. Business Question – Question needed for managing meeting the objectives.
  3. Metric – Specific formulas required. (Profit= Revenue – Expenses)
  4. Hierarchies – The order to the fields(attributes) necessary to analyze or drill down on the metrics.(Product, Department, Time)
  5. Dimension s  Natural grouping of attributes relating to each other.(Customer, Name, Address etc…)
  6. Business Matrix – Cross reference or matrix showing relationships between Business Questions, Business Processes, Metric and Dimensions. Comparing you business model to your data model.

 

The methodology for building the information value chain is as follows:

 

metric

 

 

Following this approach as the diagram shows will yield a data model and application architecture that will support answering actual business questions and provide the foundation to continue the path to data governance or to simply hold in place and explore you data to better understand your issues, their impact and then plan and prioritize your next step

Follow the path, pick a “real” goal or measurement , preferably one that matters

After that follow the path in the diagram

 

path

 

 

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About irawarrenwhiteside

BI Architect
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One Response to The secret path to Data Quality and Busines Clarity

  1. Great post, thanks for sharing. Because of the rising importance of data-driven decision making, having a strong data quality team is an important part of the equation, and will be one of the key factors in changing the future of business. There is so much great work being done with data quality tools in various industries such as financial services and health care. It will be interesting to see the impact of these changes down the road.

    Linda Boudreau
    http://DataLadder.com 

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