#47 What does the quality of data matter?

Data is the driving force behind every modern company and they collect more and more data every day. Improving data quality never happens accidentally, even though sometimes data quality related issues are solved randomly and ad-hoc. In my opinion, issues are too often solved only when they are reported by customer, prospects, employees. More or less without proactivity.

Companies should understand what data quality management is, how to create proactive plan for improving data quality and also remember that data quality is always in the context of business. Simplified, data quality management can be defined as a set of policies designed to maintain quality data. Policies are implemented throughout process of handling data - for example in acquiring, implementation, distribution and analysis. Investing in data quality management is a key measure to accelerate digital transformation in organizations, so it definitely pays off.

Good data quality is the foundation of business

Good data quality management should be the foundation of business initiavites. Poor and unreliable data should never be used. A good data quality management plan establishes a framework for company to determines the data quality level and how it affects to business decisions or value-creating.

In business management, it is necessary to determine which qualitative indicators of data are important and relevant. This is the only way to identify what is required of the data in different uses and in different parts of the value chain, and focus on quality development where relevant.

But what is good enough?

The responsibility for example determining good enough quality data lies primarily with the business operations, not so much with data management. Resources should not be wasted on nominal quality work that does not have a value-creating business goal. Business goals can be achieved e.g. through more efficient operations, creating a competitive advantage and improving management. Good quality data should be involved in supporting and reinforcing business and its reputation a chance to grow and thrive.

Focusing on improving the quality of data

There is plenty of action available, so it’s worth focusing on the essentials. I think these are the six most important areas to look at: