6 data quality rules

Fine oratory (such as that of a certain Barack Obama) often deploys what’s known as the “tricolon” or rule of threes – three words or phrases that create a pleasing cadence and drive a message home. Whilst the oratory of information quality guru Larry English at the recent Data Management and Information Quality Conference may not quite have been of President-elect standard (though still pretty good!), here are two sets of three rules relating to data quality that I picked up – a double tricolon, if you will!

3 Steps to better data

  1. Understand – perform interactive analysis (profiling) to establish what you’re got and where any issues lie.
  2. Improve – apply change to both underlying data and processes to enhance data quality and address the issues identified in step 1.
  3. Protect and control – on an ongoing, business as usual basis ensure that issues are identified and improvements made.

Handle information as you would any asset

  1. Acquire – data, like other assets, must always come from somewhere, be it an external source such as a list broker or in-house data capture. Consider what these sources are and how they’re selected.
  2. Manage – assets such as plant, equipment and stock all need managing (especially if you’re stock is perishable, like data), so take care of it in the same way.
  3. Dispose – at the end of its lifecycle, an asset is disposed as it no longer has value or performs its task. Data decays and looses value, so plan for it’s disposal.

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