Data Diaries by Data Expert

  • By Nusrath Yasmin Mohammed

Time to clean your data

It’s time for companies to clean their data.  Stop relying on SI’s to help companies on this; time to time I have seen projects being extended or cancelled due to data issues.  I see data is repeatedly being blamed.  Sometimes, I feel/suspect  it is because of strategy of the implementations instead.

My questions are the following:

  1. Why is data not considered from the get go?
  2. When it comes to negotiating why is the data always the one that is sacrificed first.
  3. Why data is put as organizational responsibility during these new initiatives?  I mean if they knew how to clean and keep it clean, then it wouldn’t have been dirty to start with.
  4. With data to be first to sacrificed, same SI and Organizations desire their project missions to be data centric or digitally transformed.  What an irony?

I feel both corporations and SIs need to reflect on this and be truthful to their mission.  It’s time to start cleaning your data.  Don’t wait for an event, do it Kan-Ban way or big bang way whatever is convenient, but do it right.  Adoption of right strategy and right tools is an important factor.  Finally, understand that it is not one person’s job. It is a paradigm shift and an entire company must participate and be involved to treat data as an asset.

Homegrown systems & methods for data quality:

I see the bigger the organizations the larger are their homegrown systems and methods to manage their data quality and governance.

When it comes to tomatoes we are not growing them in home.  When it comes to milk we are not milking it at home.  When it comes to clothes we are sewing them at home, however, when it comes to data multi-billion dollar companies are comfortable with the idea of homegrown systems and processes in maintaining the most valuable asset of their corporation.  Several times I have witnessed that the older, the larger, the convoluted these systems are the higher pride.  This self-praising, ego-centric behaviors blindsides organizations to see the sophistication, ease and simplicity of the current tools and their offerings.  These homegrown systems are not only outdated and costly they tend to create snowball effect putting companies into situations where there is point of no return.

Just sit back and think about it we are not growing $1.50/lb tomatoes in our homes but homegrown data quality systems are not raising any hairs…

Who owns data?

Data in silos still exists.  Yes, organizations are talking about the single source of truth, it has gotten it’s attention, case has been made and understood.  However, my question is how many companies have truly adopted it and adhering to it.  There is still that tug of war of whose data it is?  What’s trending now in data world is, “data as a service (DaaS)”.  Frank Cerwin, has delivered this message at one of the Chicago DAMA chapters.  Regardless of choosing the path of DaaS, enterprises need to setup data governance org (DGO) structures so why not turn these into internal DaaS and who knows later it can become an external too.

Data is the new oil

With data growing at an exponential rate and the dependency on data increasing it will be unwise not to recognize that data is the new oil or the gold rush in today’s world. 

Everyone thinks they can do data

Almost every project I have been on I have encounter one or multiple personalities who believes that data is easy and anyone can do it.  It does not require any specialized skills.  It’s the similar to how people think when they have leak in their kitchen sink.  And believe me the end result is similar to that plumbing job, if the plumber was called in the beginning stage the cost would have been much less than what they would end up paying in the end stage.  Just like professional plumbers have the expertise and the right tools to identify the root cause and fix it permanently data plumbers are the same.  They have that specialized expertise, know how and appropriate tools to clean, maintain and prevent data quality.