Data-Negative Customers

November 28, 2014 by
Data-Negative Customers

Just a few notes on explaining data value to business people.

Data-Negative Customers

Just a few notes on explaining data value to business people.

John Schmidt, in his latest article on Informatica Perspectives, repeated a seemingly well-known fact:

The reality is that the business doesn’t care about data.

That pretty much sums up the observations of data scientists and BI pros all around the world. But let’s consider this once again for a moment. Are business people (let’s just use this overly general and not-at-all disparaging phrase) really totally blind to data quality assessment issues?

Unfortunately, yes.

When we do data quality assessments, we try to draw a distinctive line between the data infrastructure and the information provided to business people. The angle is simple – you need your reports to be up and running, and we need you to allow us to fix the system running behind it. When we approach customers from one of our usual fields – let’s say banking or telco – we usually talk with the data management people first and business people second. We need to be sure to clearly articulate that with Manta Tools impact analyses will be easier (and cheaper) and final information outputs will be precise and accurate.

When you connect data value with data quality (for more on data quality, see our previous article), you can sometimes easily explain what is going on. We’ve made a small table of problems with low-quality data in different parts of an organization:

tabulka_rizik

So, when it comes to presenting the business value of data, it is always a dialogue. Business people talk about system failures and bad judgment calls based on bad information. We talk about the actual state of the system and the way we can improve it so the final outputs are better.

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