Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Data quality tools

I've noticed an increasing tendency, especially in blogs, to use the term "data quality tool" to refer only to a piece of software.

We are doing the cause of data quality no favours at all by continuing the myth that data quality can only be improved through the purchase and use of a piece of software. Almost everything you do and touch within a company can affect data quality, and therefore a tool for improving data quality can range from a pencil and a piece of paper all the way to that Cray supercomputer over there in the corner. In fact, by far the most useful and effective data quality tool is the human brain. If we'd use it a bit more effectively, a great deal of data quality improvement would result!


Daragh said...

Hear hear Graham.

The best "Data Quality Tool" is an organic supercomputer that can be found between the ears of pretty much anyone in any organisation.

Programming that supercomputer (i.e. teaching people) is probably the most important data quality task.

S. Correia said...

I fully agree with you Graham. But there are several reasons why people don't use (or want to use) their brain.

And even with a data quality tool, people still must use their brain in order to efficiently use it on data quality issues.

About teaching people, this would be the best solution of course, but unfortunately it takes much more time than fixing data quality issues afterwards.