Dirty Data: A business or an IT Issue?
Information is an asset for businesses of every type. Especially when it comes to marketing and sales, the information is the heartbeat as the business revolves around it. This information could be contact information of business prospects, business policies and procedures, records of the past and present business deals and so on. Even the topmost companies in the world need to face and work on the issues raised by dirty data. Data is constantly added each day and with numerous sources adding loads of information it is quite possible that there could be flaws generated in this information. The errors could be generated by the system or they could be human induced. However, this issue is ignored most of the times and organizations do not understand the relevance of this matter till it demands concern and starts becoming an IT related issue. Usually the IT and the business departments are seen passing the ball in each other’s courts.
Data quality maintenance is not a onetime task but needs to be periodic and frequent. Data quality maintenance and data cleansing have often been ignored due to the constraints like time and money which actually is a misconception. If dirty data is not looked into at the right time, there are numerous direct and indirect impacts that result in loss of time, costs and business that is several times more than estimated. In sales and marketing it mainly hits the targets, strategies and business opportunities that are anticipated. Indirectly, it also affects the back office functions, budgets and other costs. Several nations have now introduced legislation that demand the accuracy and systematic management of information in organizations.
The dirty data issues can be fixed by the technology guys but the responsibility of clean data lies with the business people. They are the ones who need to keep a track of the authenticity of the information and ensure that it is correct, accurate and flawless. They should be the ones to notice and follow up if there are any issues related to data quality. They need to work with the It guys to help them understand the issue so that they can get them fixed. Technology if utilized optimally can assist business by providing timely solutions in the management of the database to prevent any concerns being raised. Technology can provide help in several aspects like cleaning data, identifying the elements that create issues, profiling the data and also working to make the database more efficient and user friendly.
Taking an advantage of the evolution of technology, it is recommended that organizations should use tools that facilitate the improvisation of data quality. With large scale requirement of data maintenance or data cleansing it is also ideal that the solutions be provided by professionals who can work on the root cause of the issue and work towards setting a streamlined data usage. The overview therefore points out that the issues related to dirty data are not the sole responsibility of It but need to be looked into by the business representatives as well.