The stream of articles, white papers and videos desperately trying to convince the business community of the negative impact of poor data quality on their bottom line seems to be never ending. It almost seems like the IT brigade is marching into a cul-de-sac at the end of which is a brick wall with three large letters written on it – ‘ROI’. Data Quality projects share their dreaded fate with all other projects emanating from the IT division and including the geeky word ‘data’ in their title. While the management continues to remain blissfully ignorant of the unsettling financial and human consequences of bad data, customers, employees and business itself continues to suffer from ‘Data Quality Blues’.
The one technology in recent years that has managed to captivate the business users in organizations across the globe is undoubtedly – Dashboards. Dashboards speak to them in a language which they are familiar with, the language of graphs, charts and metrics. The BI Dashboard serves as an abstraction layer that shields the business users from the intricate and unwelcoming world of the ‘Data Churners’. It is this instrument therefore, that should be leveraged to enlighten the management of financial losses that are incurred due to a seemingly trivial typo error or a misplaced digit in the sales figures. Although this may not be the panacea one is looking for, creating a real-time dashboard which attaches a price tag to every data quality issue and extrapolates the figures to demonstrate their long term impact, may just act like a sip of coffee that will stimulate their business senses.
- Getting the initial buy in from the senior management
- Understanding the DQ issues that are creating havoc
- Tracking the performance of the DQ initiative itself
- Displaying the relevant financial metrics to answer the ROI question
Photo Credit: Sieve photo in this post from Wikimedia
Update: 2013-04-02 – Broken link fixed