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Improving data quality is key to using it strategically

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Measuring data is the first step to unlocking its business value

International companies everywhere are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of data. Even though data regulation, such as GDPR, has played a key role in forcing the subject of data quality to senior executives, organisations are acknowledging its crucial links to business value. Gartner says that by 2020, data will be an asset listed on 80% of company balance sheets.

That doesn’t mean, however, that companies are operating with high-quality data. The vast majority of businesses across industries suffer from data-quality issues, such as inaccurate, incomplete, irrelevant, outdated or duplicated data, and this can be very damaging to its strategic value.

As GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) has enforced new data rules that carry heavy fines for non-compliance, many companies have adopted data protection processes and policies that ensure personal data is kept up to date and no longer than necessary. This is a good start, however, focusing solely on compliance misses the key benefit of data management.

Guiding principles for data management

The first step in improving quality is understanding why and how data can support your business goals. As part of this, your company should produce guiding principles for data management and its role in driving your strategy.

Once this has been achieved, the next step is creating an organisational structure that supports the vision and guiding principles. This often involves getting a chief data officer onboard or appointing some kind of ‘data champion’ to help implement good data principles.

If you can measure data better, you can make it better

A key challenge in data quality is the lack of international standards. While introducing standards too quickly could stifle innovation and competition, without them, larger companies implement their own procedures and rules, making it harder for smaller companies.

The bottom line, however, is that if you can measure data better, you can make it better. Creating guiding principles for data management is an excellent way to begin measuring data better. The growing need to generate higher-quality information to inform better decision-making will drive the move to a truly digital and data-driven company.

To discuss how Pipol can support your data strategy, please get in touch.

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