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It’s become a bit cliche to hear a business executive talk about being at data-first organization. However, more often than not, the number of companies who both walk the walk and talk the talk is few and far between. While accumulating, storing, and analyzing data has become commonplace, many executives are missing a crucial step in the data-driven culture they’re trying so hard to adopt. The important step they’re missing out on? Ensuring the data on which they’re basing their decisions is of high quality.
Data Quality in the Real World
Dr. Tadhq Nagle of the Cork University Business School, and several peers, worked together to assess the data quality levels of 75 different businesses. Despite the claims of robust data modernization these organizations thought they’d achieved, the results of the study, which were published in Harvard Business Review, Nagle and his team found some discouraging results from their assessments. Most notably, just 3% of the companies assessed in the study had data sets that would be counted as acceptable. Almost 50% of newly created data sets were deemed of poor quality and consisted of at least one error labeled as critical.
Data Quality and You
It’s easy to think of these data quality issues as abstract and only impacting the c-level of a company. But this couldn’t be further from the truth. Employees at every level can be affected by poor data quality. As Dr. Nagle points out in his article in the Irish Times, why do most workers immediately question the integrity of reports when they review them? Or, as we’ve pointed out before, how is a business tool adding value to the company if the employees using the tool don’t trust the data behind the tool?
In summary, it’s time organizations take action to ensure the data they’re using to run their businesses is accurate, complete, and timely. There’s simply no reason to put off a data quality assessment to start addressing the issues that could be drastically holding your team and your company back.
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Wes is a technology professional who specializes in marketing and business development.