The Five Worst Elevator Pitches for Data Quality

Although you don’t have to actually wait until you are riding in an elevator with a member of executive management to use it, every data quality professional needs to have a well-rehearsed and highly effective elevator pitch ready to go for convincing your organization’s business stakeholders and financial decision makers of the importance of data quality initiatives.

In this blog post, I wanted to provide a few examples of what definitely won’t work as an effective elevator pitch for data quality.


The Five Worst Elevator Pitches for Data Quality

  1. “I’m ramping up my job search because I hate working here so much, and my headhunter really thinks a data quality project would look great on my résumé, so how about you be a good sport and approve one?  Additionally, could you make me the leader of the project, and give me some awesome sounding title that would look great in the sans-serif font.”


  2. “About 23% of the columns in our operational databases are NULL 42% of the time, and 18% of the fields in our analytical reports contain inconsistent formats 35% of the time, and duplicate rates for customer names and postal addresses vary from 8% to 16% depending on who you ask.  I don’t know what any of that means in business terms, but it can’t be good.”


  3. “Like everybody, on, like, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and, like, most of the blogosphere, keeps saying data quality is, like, kinda really important, like some kinda best practice or something.  So I was wondering if, like, you could give us, like, oh I don’t know, like, a couple million dollars, so we could like, do a data quality project or something.  Yeah, like, that would be like, really cool of you, and I would, like totally, like say so on Twitter and Facebook and my blog, like, for real, totally.”


  4. “I just came back from a major industry conference, and every one of the conference speakers, industry thought leaders, international experts, hardware, software, and consulting vendors were in unanimous and unambiguous agreement—that everything we’re currently doing is totally wrong.  We need to invest in a new master data management, data governance, and business intelligence center of excellence—all built upon a solid data quality foundation.  And it should only cost us about one billion dollars—not counting the annual maintenance fees, of course.”


  5. “All of us down in IT are so bored maintaining the existing systems you use for those reports that contain made up data more than half the time anyway, so we’d like you to buy a bunch of cool new technology for us to play with.  Pick us up a few new data profiling and data cleansing tools, one of those master data management things everybody’s talking about, and throw in one of those data warehouse appliances too.  Oh, by the way, the enterprise data warehouse just went down and we’re pretty sure that thing’s never coming back up again.  Well anyway, have a great weekend, executive dude.”


Let’s hear your elevator pitch for data quality

Surely, you could do better—or even better, maybe you could do worse—than these five silly examples. 

Please share your (seriously effective or seriously funny) elevator pitch for data quality by posting a comment below.


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