Data Quality (DQ) Tips is an OCDQ regular segment. Each DQ-Tip is a clear and concise data quality pearl of wisdom.
“The quality of information is directly related to the value it produces in its application.”
The relationship between data and information, and by extension data quality and information quality, is acknowledged and explored in the book’s second chapter, which includes a brief history of information theory, as well as the origins of many of the phrases frequently used throughout the data/information quality industry, e.g., fitness for use and information product.
Talburt explains that the problem with the fitness-for-use definition for the quality of an information product (IP) is that it “assumes that the expectations of an IP user and the value produced by the IP in its application are both well understood.”
Different users often have different applications for data and information, requiring possibly different versions of the IP, each with a different relative value to the user. This is why Talburt believes that the quality of information is best defined, not as fitness for use, but instead as the degree to which the information creates value for a user in a particular application. This allows us to measure the business-driven value of information quality with technology-enabled metrics, which are truly relevant to users.
Talburt believes that casting information quality in terms of business value is essential to gaining management’s endorsement of information quality practices within an organizaiton, and Talburt recommends three keys to success with information quality:
- Always relate information quality to business value
- Give stakeholders a way to talk about information quality—the vocabulary and concepts
- Show them a way to get started on improving information quality—and a vision for sustaining it