DQ-Tip: “Start where you are...”

Data Quality (DQ) Tips is an OCDQ regular segment.  Each DQ-Tip is a clear and concise data quality pearl of wisdom.

“Start where you are

Use what you have

Do what you can.”

This DQ-Tip is actually a wonderful quote from Arthur Ashe, which serves as the opening of the final chapter of the fantastic data quality book: Executing Data Quality Projects: Ten Steps to Quality Data and Trusted Information by Danette McGilvray.

“I truly believe,” explains McGilvray, “that no matter where you are, there is something you can do to help your organization.  I also recognize the fact that true sustainability of any data quality effort requires management support.  But don't be discouraged if you don't have the ear of the CEO (of course that would be nice, but don't let it stop you if you don't).”

McGilvray then suggests the following excellent list of dos and don'ts:

  • You DON'T have to have the CEO's support to begin, but . . .
  • You DO have to have the appropriate level of management support to get started while continuing to obtain additional support from as high up the chain as possible.


  • You DON'T have to have all the answers, but . . .
  • You DO need to do your homework and be willing to ask questions.


  • You DON'T need to do everything all at once, but . . .
  • You DO need to have a plan of action and get started!

“So what are you waiting for?” asks McGilvray. 

“Get going: build on your experience, continue to learn, bring value to your organization, have fun, and enjoy the journey!”


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