A Data Quality Immaturity Model

There are several maturity models related to data quality out there. I have found a good collection in this document from NASCIO.

I guess the mother of all maturity models is the Capability Maturity Model (CMM). This model is related to software development.

There is also a parody model for that called the Capability Immaturity Model (CIMM). Inspired by an article yesterday by Jill Dyché on Information Management called Anti-Predictions for 2011 I have found that the CIMM model is easily adapted to a data quality immaturity model with levels from zero to minus three as this:

0 : Negligent

The organization pays lip service, often with excessive fanfare, to implementing data quality processes, but lacks the will to carry through the necessary effort. Whereas level 1 assumes eventual success in producing and measuring quality data, level 0 organizations generally fail to have any idea about the actual horrible quality of the data assets.

-1 : Obstructive

Processes, however inappropriate and ineffective, are implemented with rigor and tend to obstruct work. Adherence to process is the measure of success in a level -1 organization. Any actual creation of quality data is incidental. The quality of any data is not assessed, presumably on the assumption that if the proper process was followed, high quality data is guaranteed.

-2 : Contemptuous

While processes exist, they are routinely ignored by the staff and those charged with overseeing the processes are regarded with hostility. Measurements are fudged to make the organization look good.

-3 : Undermining

Not content with faking their own performance, undermining departments within the organization routinely work to downplay and sabotage the efforts of rival departments. This is worst where company policy causes departments to compete for scarce resources, which are allocated to the loudest advocates.

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7 thoughts on “A Data Quality Immaturity Model

  1. Gordon Hamilton 5th January 2011 / 18:48

    Good Post Henrik,

    If only it was not true for so many organizations!

    Maybe instead of a sliding scale of Capabilities, it should be called a “slippery slope of Capabilities”. 🙂

  2. Ellie K 6th January 2011 / 01:45

    I think your model has far wider applicability than you realize, Henrik. A few examples that come to mind are organizational behavior e.g. degree of severity for pathological bureaucracy and comment thread scoring.

    I suspect that U.C. Berkeley Professor of Economics Bradford Delong might be interested, as he has quite a complex blog comment policy, necessitated by his readers. The folks at Reddit probably implement something similar in their proprietary algorithm.

    In fact, I read a post on the Lithium site which alluded to such challenges How many ranks do you have- Growing Successful Communities

    The reason a Generalized Immaturity Model has such great potential is because of it’s negativity. It is unlike others, as it ranks gradations of awfullness, rather than traditional ranks of relative goodness. Very original thinking!

    And you filed this under Supposed to be a joke? Such modesty! I had a nice laugh over it, all afternoon!

  3. Henrik Liliendahl Sørensen 6th January 2011 / 07:10

    Thanks a lot Gordon and Ellie for commenting.

    Perhaps the post should have been filed under “Gallows Humor”.

  4. John Platten 7th January 2011 / 18:43

    I love your blogs & comments as ever Henrik. You rarely fail to amuse at the same time as making your points and they are all the more memorable for that.

    • Henrik Liliendahl Sørensen 8th January 2011 / 06:23

      Thanks John.

  5. Paul Priestly 10th January 2011 / 11:34

    Thanks Henrik. My contribution (after hearing it from a colleague) At -4 ‘Ritual Sacrifice’. My experience suggests that this is where most organisations are really at.

    • Henrik Liliendahl Sørensen 10th January 2011 / 11:55

      Thanks Paul 🙂

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