A quote about data quality from Thomas Redman says:
“It is a waste of effort to improve the quality (accuracy) of data no one ever uses.”
I have learned the quote from Jim Harris who mentioned the quote latest in his post: DQ-Tip: “There is no point in monitoring data quality…”
In a comment Phil Simon said: I love that. I’m jealous that I didn’t think of something so smart.
I’m guessing Phil was into some irony. If so, I can see why. The statement seems pretty obvious and at first glance you can’t imagine anyone taking the opposite stance: Let’s cleanse some data no one ever uses.
Also I think it was meant as being obvious in Redman’s book: Data Driven.
Well, taking it to the next level I can think of the following elaboration:
- If you found some data that no one ever uses you should not only avoid improving the quality of that data, you should actually delete the data and make sure that no one uses time and resources for entering or importing the same data in the future.
- That is unless the reason that no one ever uses the data is that the quality of the data is poor. Then you must compare the benefits of improving the data against the costs of doing so. If costs are bigger, proceed with point 1. If benefits are bigger, go to point 3.
- It is not a waste of effort to improve the quality of some data no one ever uses.