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Quantifying Data Quality
Executives at every level know that data quality is a pressing issue that has a profound impact on the overall health of an organization. In fact, it’s a problem for every business in every industry. But it’s coming to light that while most business leaders acknowledge the existence of a data quality problem, it’s clear that they fail to grasp just how profound the issue is. Luckily for us, the folks over at Harvard Business Review have conducted an ongoing study that shows us just how much executives underestimate the quality of their company’s data.
Conducting a Simple Data Quality Experiment
HBR asked executives to collect 10-15 data attributes that they deem crucial measurements of their company within their specific department, spanning 100 of their most recent data records. Executives are then asked to go through and measure the validity and accuracy of their records. Based on a score of 1-100, the results of the 2-year long study show that just 3% of executives scored 97 out of 100 or higher. Most experts would deem 97% accuracy of any given data set as the minimum to be considered an ideal data set. So, what does that tell us? That the vast majority of data sets that businesses are using to run their companies do not even meet the minimum requirements to be considered accurate.
Assess Your Data
If these statistics are causing alarm, you should consider getting a data quality assessment. The impact of bad data is well known, and if the HBR study above has taught us anything, it’s that we don’t realize just how bad our data quality issues really are. While consulting data quality experts is a great first step, you can start working towards a data quality process on your own to take some first steps towards being confident in your data.
Wes is a technology professional who specializes in marketing and business development.