We are a few weeks into 2018 and, although your New Year’s resolutions to stop eating junk food and hitting the gym may have already fizzled, there is still plenty of time to become energized about data quality during the new year. Here are 5 Data Management resolutions for 2018 to which even the most impatient among us can follow.
- Build muscle in your core (data) – Every organization has a core set of master, operational and reference data that is essential to its business operations and decision making. Toning your core data and improving its dependability and trustworthiness will enable leaders to make more informed decisions. It will also provide analysts and data scientists with a stable core structure for connecting all the new sources you will discover this year, giving them context and business relevance.
- Clear the clutter – Does your data warehouse or CMDB look more like a thrift shop than the fulfillment center of a modern company? If so, then it may be time to clean house and purge data that is no longer useful. Obsolete, redundant and conflicting data from different points in time or different sources can make analyzing your data and harvesting actionable insights difficult and less accurate. As time progresses, your data’s original context can be lost, making the problem worse (no “This goes with what?”) Take the time to clean, purge, simplify and organize your data assets to create a solid foundation for the year ahead.
- Seek new relationships – Just like with human friendship, it’s the quality of the connection that matters, not their quantity. Meaningful data relationships provide the keys to valuable organizational insights about how people, processes and technology interact with each other. This year, consider reviewing your data relationships and whether it might be time to invite some new acquaintances to the party to create some new excitement.
- Take ownership of your data and its quality – Good data management starts with assigning accountability for data content, quality and use. A responsible data owner will understand what data is available and how it can be combined to create the insights that users want and need. As you review the essential data in your organization, ask yourself, “Is it clear who owns it and is authorized to make decisions on the organization’s behalf?” “Does this person have the skills and authority to make the changes necessary to assess and improve data quality?” What better time than a new year to take that first step to data ownership.
- Focus on the value that data can provide – Do you know the difference between an investor and a hoarder? Both collect, but one just wants more stuff and the other understands the value of what they collect will create. The value of data is a measure of the business insights that can be harvested from it, not from simply possessing data. Make this the year you become a sophisticated investor in your company’s data by understanding what questions it can help answer and the value it can create.
The new year has just begun, and now that you’ve unburdened yourself from those silly exercise goals, it’s time to focus on your data management resolutions for the year. Make 2018 the year you take control of data quality in your organization, making it dependable and trustworthy and capable of driving confident decisions.