Over on the DataFlux Community of Experts, Dylan Jones (of Data Quality Pro fame) posted Data Quality and Social Proof, which advocates an interesting approach to convincing stakeholders of the need to act on poor data quality:
Use video testimonials from knowledge workers to record what data quality really means to the people who use data and drive value in your business.
My overactive imagination and sense of humor couldn't help but wonder what some of these testimonials would be like...
A Few Good Knowledge Workers
“You want the truth? You can't handle the truth! We live in a world that has data and the quality of those data need to be guarded by workers with knowledge. Who's gonna do it? You? I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know.
You don't want the truth because deep down in places you don't talk about at board meetings, you want me on that data, you need me on that data!
We use words like completeness, consistency, accuracy, timeliness. We use them as the backbone of a career spent trying to defend data. You use them as bullet points on a presentation slide.
I suggest that you pick up a pen and sign the authorization for our data quality initiative!”
“I've seen poor data quality...poor data quality that you've seen. It's impossible for words to describe what is necessary to those who do not know what poor data quality means. Poor data quality has a face:
A customer that we can not provide service, an auditor that we can not prevent from failing us on regulatory compliance, a stockholder to whom we can not accurately report revenue.
Poor data quality...the horror...the horror...”
“You want to know how poor our data quality is?
Our data is headed for a disaster of Y2K proportions. What do we mean by Y2K?
Old Mainframe, real wrath of EBCDIC type stuff. Fire and brimstone coming down from the codepages! Rivers and seas of boiling data! Forty years of darkness! Hard drive crashes! HTTP 404! Deleted records rising from the Recycle Bin! Precision sacrifice! Dogs and cats living together...Mass Hysteria!
We are all terrified beyond the capacity for rational thought.
If someone asks if you are going to approve our data quality initiative...you say YES!”
Your Data Quality Reality Show
What would your video testimonial show about the reality of data quality in your organization?
How would you respond if asked to help convince your stakeholders of the need to act on poor data quality?