‘Tis the Season for Data Quality

‘Tis the season for getting holiday greeting cards, and not only from family and friends, since many companies also like to mail seasons greetings to their customers, employees, and business partners.

I do appreciate the sentiment, but I mostly just check the envelopes for data quality issues with the name and/or postal address.

I have never made it through an entire holiday season without receiving at least one incorrectly addressed greeting card, and this year was no exception.  In the above image, I have highlighted that I apparently live in the town of Ankely, Pennsylvania.

I actually live in the town of Ankeny, Iowa.

The United States postal abbreviations for Pennsylvania and Iowa are PA and IA, respectively.  Additionally, the town name is only off by one character (L instead of N in the fifth position of a six character string).  Therefore, the data matching algorithms provided by most data quality tools would consider these relatively minor discrepancies to be highly probable matches.

And although Pennsylvania and Iowa are approximately 900 miles away from each other, since my street address and ZIP code (both intentionally blurred out in the image) were correct, the post office was able to successfully deliver the greeting card to me.

However, the really funny thing is that this greeting card was sent to me by a . . . (wait for it) . . . data quality tool vendor!

So apparently ‘tis the season for data quality . . . data quality issues, that is :-)


‘Tis the Season for Sharing Data Quality Stories

Have you encountered any seasonal data quality issues?  If so, please share your story by posting a comment below.