Business Decision-making

Data (the hidden resource) Management is a discipline that has not been formalized.  Although data are the raw material for informed fact-based decision-making, they are not an asset in the classical  sense of an asset.   The data resource has significant impact  upon the entire enterprise's ability to perform and "dirty disparate data" has been a significant culprit.  There are large quantities of this data throughout the organization (think about your own and others smart-phone, IPad, laptop, work station, etc.) that may be largely unknown, unavailable and unused since others are unaware of its existence or don't know how to use it.  Imagine if this disparate data became known, it would be a tremendous benefit to the organization.  So, one way to eradicate disparate data is to have data management focus on the quality of the organization's data.

The Data Warehousing Institute estimates that data quality cost U.S. businesses over $ 600 billion a year and Larry English cites the cost of bad data may be 10-25% of an organization's total revenue.  You would think that data management would receive management attention and is this an acceptable management position given some observations about bad data:

  • Reporting of business performance with bad data affects decision-making (sales, marketing, manufacturing, and service)
  • Bad data impacts overall customer satisfaction and retention (public/private sector)
  • Bad data impacts the service/product build cycle (waste) and eventual satisfaction and acceptance of product/service (rework or retention)
  • A bad product and related supporting data results in lost service or sales opportunities
  • Faulty reporting due to bad data addressing regulatory statues opens up legal exposures
  • Bad data quality leads to operational inefficiencies due to additional personal time to understand and correct the disparate data.
  • Bad data impacts both the public and service sectors alike.

So, why isn't the investment in data management more pervasive?  Is it that data are not formalized?  Is it too personal?  Are data definition, structuring, development, and implementation unlike other engineering disciplines?

For business professionals, data are only a means to produce desired information for the discipline they  use.  The quality and assessment of the data are considered a part of the discipline and not considered on its own merits.  The management of data (timeliness, accuracy, consistency, representativeness, currentness, etc.) has a tremendous impact on the organization's performance yet does not carry the influence as do other business management disciplines.  Given that data are the raw material of information, then, the management of data is essential for the successful use of information.

Read more - Technology Delivery of Data

Category: Why Data Management?

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