Data quality needs business and IT allignment


There is an old joke that says that in any legal battle, particularly a divorce, only the lawyers will win. Unfortunately, if a data quality initiative turns into a battle (for what ever reason) between IT and business there will be no winners.

This is because each brings complementary skills and knowledge to a data management team. Business users typically have a stronger understanding of whether data is (or is not) fit for purpose, how they work around system validations, where poor quality data is captured and so on, whereas IT users bring a strong understanding of – for example – data structures and data lineage (where data comes from).

There is a global shift towards involving business users more actively in data management. In a recent blog, Trillium Software MD John Nicoli, shares feedback from customers that business wants to be more involved so as to speed up the pace of delivery and be less dependent on IT.

The pains expressed in his blog are very relevant to South African companies – IT is under tremendous pressure to do more with less – budgets are being cut but the drive to improve competitive advantage remains. In many cases, business users are frustrated by having to queue in an IT priority list that is unable, due to resource or other constraints, to address urgent issues – particularly when these are tactical in nature. This can create significant conflict and stress.

We have enabled IT to provide business users with a framework for identifying and managing data quality issues, whether tactical or strategic in nature. The controlled self help approach allows business to identify and manage burning data quality issues without the dependency on IT. This reduces the frustration of business and reduces the pressure on IT to deliver in a fast moving and fast changing business environment – a win for everybody.

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