Don't Blame IT: Follow Up Thoughts

Posted by George Lowry on December 13, 2016


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Earlier this year I posted piece entitled "Don’t Blame It”.  The post underscored the resulting impacts and importance of data quality on metrics, descriptive analytics, and potential decision making. The message also discussed which organization should be accountable for data quality.  My summation was that operations, and not IT, needs to take ownership data quality… garbage in, garbage out.

I’ve not changed my thesis on this, however, I do believe IT needs to ensure they are good partner to the business with respect to data quality. This became apparent to me at a recent Gartner conference, while participating in a panel discussion with a number of big data experts from large household-name enterprises with whom we are all familiar.  When the moderator posed a question regarding how the attending data warehouse/lake architects addressed data quality… the only respondents were crickets.  

The moderator and I locked eyes and I could tell he was looking for a relief valve on this topic, so I gently offered my perspectives on the importance of having confidence in the data we use to make decisions. Hoping to hear something similar from the other participants, I explained how our Propel performance management solution offers configurable screening rules that enable the users to quantifiably visualize the level of trust they should place upon the results they’re viewing.  After sharing this supposition, then yielding the conversation back to the panel, all that was offered was ‘We don’t do that because data quality is not our responsibility.’ That was basically the end of that topic and I later wondered if I had missed something … 

Twenty-five years of enterprise asset management experience has graced me with inside experiences that included containment walk-downs in a nuclear plants, computer paper manufacturing, jet fighter/bomber assembly, and even casino facilities management. More than a few customers across these industries have expressed concerns to me over their lack of faith in the quality of their asset management data. Given this, one must wonder if  COOs or CFOs would lose any sleep or at least ask questions if they knew their management leaders had this concern? After all, history  has proven that the quality of our data has a direct impact upon the quality of the decisions we make.

Topics: Data Quality, Data Confidence

Written by George Lowry

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