The Ugly Duckling

The title of the fairy tale “The Ugly Duckling” by Hans Christian Andersen was originally supposed to be the more positive “The Young Swan” (or “The Cygnet”) , but as Andersen did not want to spoil the element of surprise in the protagonist’s transformation, he discarded it for “The Ugly Duckling”.

In a blog post called “Why Isn’t Our Data Quality Worse?” posted today (or last night local Iowa time) Jim Harris examines the psychology term “negativity bias” that explains how bad evokes a stronger reaction than good in the human mind.

Surely, data quality improvement evangelism is most often based on the strong force of badness. Always describing how bad data is everywhere. Bashing executives who don’t get it. Only as a nice positive surprise in the end we tell how our product/consultancy will transform the ugly duckling into a beautiful swan.    

My latest blog post with a truly positive angle called “What a Lovely Day” is almost 2 months old. So I promise myself the next post will have the title “The Young Swan” (or “The Cygnet”) and will be extremely positive about data quality improvement.

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