Friday, May 21, 2010

Data Quality for Social CRM

We just read a recent blog post from Harish Kotadia on Social CRM. He emphasizes the need for data quality. Upstream data quality for social CRM is probably critical as the volume of data can be huge as Harish notes.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Tactical Data Quality

Today we listened to a podcast of an interview with Rob Karel of Forrester Research on "Tactical Data Quality Projects". Rob's comments were congruent with our previous blog "Data Quality on a Budget". Rob suggested quick and easy to accomplish projects that would provide quick ROI. He also recommended targeting projects that business units cite as chronic problems that can have a quick payback such as getting junk entries out of marketing data bases.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Benefits of Upstream Data Quality

We liked Liliendahl's recent blog post on upstream data quality. We agree with Lilendahl that data quality is best dealt with at the point of entry before the data is posted to a data base. Upstream data quality solutions can be easier to use and are usually far less costly than downstream solutions. The cost of upstream solutions can be so inexpensive that they can bypass the usual budgeting process. That can be important to getting data quality initiatives launched as we discussed in our blog earlier today.

Data Quality on a Budget

We read an interesting blog by Graham Rhind yesterday regarding the frustration with organizations not appreciating the value of data quality and its importance. He makes some excellent points about how important data quality is to all organizations.

Unfortunately, not many organizations currently share Graham's sense of urgency regarding data quality and it costs them dearly. Thus, data quality will continue to need evangelists such as Graham.

In addition, many organizations expect demonstrable ROI for investments including data quality. (See our blogs on ROI for data quality here and here.) While Graham finds the need to demonstrate ROI frustrating as he believes that data quality will always prove beneficial, it is unlikely that there will be a move away from this sort of capital budgeting exercise any time soon.

However, there may be some ways to move an organization into data quality without having to get bogged down in a time consuming exercise to demonstrate ROI. Not long ago, we listened in on a webinar with Steve Sarsfield discussing "Affordable Data Governance". Steve advocated a strategy he called "land and expand". The gist of this strategy is to pick low-cost data quality solutions that can still have a measurable improvement on data quality. While low-cost solutions may not be the comprehensive solutions that some organizations need, they can often be implemented without having to engage in a lengthy capital budgeting exercise since many organizations have floors for approval of expenditures below which individuals or departments are free to make their own decisions. Moreover, if the solution can demonstrate the value of data quality, it will enhance the case for more comprehensive solutions and help to drive adoption of data quality within an organization.

An example of a low-cost solution is cloud computing solutions for data quality. Some solutions can cost as little as a few hundred dollars per month and, yet, provide very high returns. This expenditure is often well within the budget of a department and will not require the need to gain approval for the expenditure.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Estimating Benefits of Data Quality Initiatives

We liked this piece by David Loshin on estimating the cost of junk data in a company's data base. This is the kind of analysis that will lead to a compelling business case based on ROI for a data quality initiative. See our earlier blog for a frame of reference and some other examples.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Interesting New Gartner Survey

We read about a new Gartner survey in CIO that suggests that data quality problems are growing rapidly. The problem is becoming particularly acute since 85% of the businesses surveyed claimed that data was a strategic asset of the company.

Easy to use upstream data quality solutions, such as Ikhana's EDM Web Services, can greatly reduce junk data at a very low cost and can be installed in as little as one hour.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Cloud Computing for Data Quality

We liked this blog from Liliendahl:

We think that using web-based, upstream data quality tools can provide users with a lower cost data quality solution that is easier to install. Those attributes should produce superior ROI and make it easier to get management approval and acceptance from IT.