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DQ Blog Data Quality How to Guarantee Failure in your Data Quality Initiatives!

How to Guarantee Failure in your Data Quality Initiatives!

Martin Doyle April 10th, 2012 Data Quality

Is there anyone out there who doesn’t want clean data? If so, you’re in luck. Here is the definitive checklist of things NOT to do.

  • Don’t Make People Responsible. If no one is responsible, no one can be blamed when data is useless. If your organisation doesn’t have any data ownership policies that designate responsibility, what does it matter? After all, there’s always IT to be the scapegoat. Unfortunately, if no formal responsibility for maintaining quality data is assigned to anyone else, the onus is on IT to come up with all the data cleansing solutions. Oops. Perhaps that’s not such a good idea after all.
  • Don’t Set Standards. Of course you don’t need to set standards if you don’t want data accuracy and consistency, or if you do want ambiguities and redundant information. Why worry about all the complaints that will be coming your way when there is no single customer view or when inflated figures have gone up to the board. You can weasel your way out of them. Or can you?
  • Don’t Measure or Manage. Why bother monitoring your data at all? You don’t want the bother of running customer records through address correction software. You don’t want to find data issues before they cause a business problem, do you? You’re not really interested in data quality trends in the company, are you? It doesn’t matter if accurate reports can’t be generated when they are needed, does it?
  • Don’t Use any Processes. If you set up master data management processes that mean all data will be checked and cleaned before access is granted to users, what is there left for IT to do? They won’t have anything like as many troubleshooting calls on their time, and you do like to keep your colleagues on their toes and guessing about what will happen next, don’t you?
  • Don’t Use Technology. You really don’t want to have to spend your time justifying the need for more money in the budget for data quality software, even if it is just a one-off investment that will pay for itself over and over again in better results from your data right across the board.
  • Don’t Prevent Problems, Just Keep Curing Them. That’s what you’re there for, isn’t it?

That’s the way to guarantee bad data. Of course, if you want to keep your company afloat and keep your job, you’ll ignore all this advice and do the opposite.


Written by Martin Doyle

Martin is CEO and founder of DQ Global, a Data Quality Software company based in the UK. With an engineering background, Martin previously ran a CRM Software business. He has gained a wealth of knowledge and experience over the years and has established himself as a Data Quality Improvement Evangelist and an industry expert.