Spartan Data Quality

My recent Twitter conservation with Dylan Jones, Henrik Liliendahl Sørensen, and Daragh O Brien was sparked by the blog post Case study with Data blogs, from 300 to 1000, which included a list of the top 500 data blogs ranked by influence.

Data Quality Pro was ranked #57, Liliendahl on Data Quality was ranked #87, The DOBlog was a glaring omission, and I was proud OCDQ Blog was ranked #33 – at least until, being the data quality geeks we are, we noticed that it was also ranked #165.

In other words, there was an ironic data quality issue—a data quality blog was listed twice (i.e., a duplicate record in the list)!

Hilarity ensued, including some epic photo shopping by Daragh, leading, quite inevitably, to the writing of this Data Quality Tale, which is obviously loosely based on the epic movie 300—and perhaps also the epically terrible comedy Meet the Spartans.  Enjoy!


Spartan Data Quality

In 1989, an alliance of Data Geeks, lead by the Spartans, an unrivaled group of data quality warriors, battled against an invading data deluge in the mountain data center of Thermopylae, caused by the complexities of the Greco-Persian Corporate Merger.

Although they were vastly outnumbered, the Data Geeks overcame epic data quality challenges in one of the most famous enterprise data management initiatives in history—The Data Integration of Thermopylae.

This is their story.

Leonidas, leader of the Spartans, espoused an enterprise data management approach known as Spartan Data Quality, defined by its ethos of collaboration amongst business, data, and technology experts, collectively and affectionately known as Data Geeks.

Therefore, Leonidas was chosen as the Thermopylae Project Lead.  However, Xerxes, the new Greco-Persian CIO, believed that the data integration project was pointless, Spartan Data Quality was a fool’s errand, and the technology-only Persian approach, known as Magic Beans, should be implemented instead.  Xerxes saw the Thermopylae project as an unnecessary sacrifice.

“There will be no glory in your sacrifice,” explained Xerxes.  “I will erase even the memory of Sparta from the database log files!  Every bit and byte of Data Geek tablespace shall be purged.  Every data quality historian and every data blogger shall have their Ethernet cables pulled out, and their network connections cut from the Greco-Persian mainframe.  Why, uttering the very name of Sparta, or Leonidas, will be punishable by employee termination!  The corporate world will never know you existed at all!”

“The corporate world will know,” replied Leonidas, “that Data Geeks stood against a data deluge, that few stood against many, and before this battle was over, a CIO blinded by technology saw what it truly takes to manage data as a corporate asset.”

Addressing his small army of 300 Data Geeks, Leonidas declared: “Gather round!  No retreat, no surrender.  That is Spartan law.  And by Spartan law we will stand and fight.  And together, united by our collaboration, our communication, our transparency, and our trust in each other, we shall overcome this challenge.”

“A new Information Age has begun.  An age of data-driven business decisions, an age of data-empowered consumers, an age of a world connected by a web of linked data.  And all will know, that 300 Data Geeks gave their last breath to defend it!”

“But there will be so many data defects, they will blot out the sun!” exclaimed Xerxes.

“Then we will fight poor data quality in the shade,” Leonidas replied, with a sly smile.

“This is madness!” Xerxes nervously responded as the new servers came on-line in the data center of Thermopylae.

“Madness?  No,” Leonidas calmly said as the first wave of the data deluge descended upon them.  “THIS . . . IS . . . DATA !!!”


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