As an avid reader, I tend to redeem most of my American Express Membership Rewards points for Barnes & Noble gift cards to buy new books for my Nook. As a data quality expert, I tend to notice when something is amiss with data. As shown above, for example, my recent gift card was apparently issued on — and only available for use until — January 1, 1900.
At first, I thought I might have encountered the time traveling gift card. However, I doubted the gift card would be accepted as legal tender in 1900. Then I thought my gift card was actually worth $1,410 (what $50 in 1900 would be worth today), which would allow me to buy a lot more books — as long as Barnes & Noble would overlook the fact the gift card expired 113 years ago.
Fortunately, I was able to use the gift card to purchase $50 worth of books in 2013.
So, I guess the moral of this story is that sometimes poor data quality does pay. However, it probably never pays to display your poor data quality to someone who runs an obsessive-compulsive data quality blog with a series about data quality by example.
What examples (good or poor) of data quality have you encountered in your time travels?