Thursday, December 11, 2014

Perfect Data Quality?

Can a Data Manager ever raise a hand in front of his CTO or DGO and say he has achieved perfect data quality? The answer unfortunately is a big ‘NO’.

Why? Because there is nothing like perfect data; it’s a mirage which, if you start chasing, will get you stranded in the middle of a desert. So, is it worth trying and remediating bad data? Yes of course, but we have to take a selective approach. The Pareto principle, the 80-20 rule, will come to the rescue here. Identify 20% of the issues that fix 80% of the data. Easier said than done but at-least it is something achievable and can be aspired for.

Even more important is to realize that fixing the process is far more important than fixing the data. I am not trying to imply that data remediation is not important. It is and needs to be done. But it should be more of a correction or fix in case of exceptions or a one-time effort when you laying down the foundations at the onset of your Data Quality program.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Data Management, Governance And Stewardship - II

Continuing the discussion from the last post, let’s understand the relationship between Data management, governance and stewardship.

You have just built a world class analytics platform that will cater to the data needs of your analysts and business managers so that they can slice and dice it and bring you insights that will improve operational efficiency and give you a cutting edge over your competitors. But what happens when after spending millions of dollars your business managers are not confident about the data they are using? Can your organization rely on the decisions they make? How do you ensure that the system maintains the same level of quality with which you built the system and it is not deteriorating over time? How do you ensure that your data and its handling is compliant and in agreement with various internal and external regulations?

If you are asking these questions you are probably questioning the quality of your data or information. Some people argue that data and information are two separate entities with data representing the ‘numbers’ and information providing the ‘context around those numbers’. Since both are incomplete without each other, for the purpose of this blog we will treat them as the same.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Employee - Your Best Advertisement

The employee who works with the clients in one of the remote locations or answers customer queries over the phone or interacts with your customers behind the sales counter affects your business much more than any number of advertising and PR dollars you may spend on building your brand/image. So invest some part of that huge marketing/PR budget in training, nurturing that employee and keeping them happy so that they genuinely deliver that message across which you want your customer to get or feel.

A smiling employee proudly telling your customer – “We at our company believe in doing things the right way” - sends a much stronger, effective message that any billboard or TV ads can ever do. And always remember - it's a little difficult to fake the smile to the customer.

Friday, July 27, 2012

The Age Of Artists Sans Middlemen

The age of the privileged middlemen is over. All along the artist has been at the mercy of that privileged middleman to get their work to the audience. Be it be a publisher, an art gallery or a music records company – for years they have controlled who and what reaches the market. But the times have changed and so has the role of the middleman – from the controller to the facilitator.

The artist is the privileged one now – they can opt for a facilitator but it’s not mandatory. They just need their art to be good enough to reach the market. They can paintcreate music or have their own comic strip – and even if they choose to go with the middlemen they can do it at their own terms.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Blowing Your Own Trumpet!!

Being good at your work counts but being able to showcase that work is equally important too. This is especially true when your job is your art or vice-versa – your art is your job.

Consider an artist who creates mind-blowing work in a dungeon but never displays it to anyone. If that art is also his livelihood he will never sell anything and soon run out of money and possibly cease to exist and so will his art.

Compare this to a scenario where a person creates good work (not low quality) and knows how to sell it. The good worker may get only half of what a mind-blowing artist would get (if he sold) but he will live to create more art, learn and improve upon it.

Not trying to undermine the importance of great work, but showcasing your work is part of the Genius. You may create the sharpest knives in the world but if you are not able to convince somebody to use them they will eventually rust and become useless.

The Genius not only does great work but takes pride in showcasing it equally well.