Things Change

Yesterday I posted a small piece called So I’m not a Capricorn? about how astrology may (also) be completely wrong because something has changed.

On the serious side: Don’t expect that because you get it Right the First Time then everything will be just fine from this day forward. Things change.

The most known example in data quality prevention is probably that it is of course important that when you enter the address belonging to a customer, you get it right. But as people (and companies) relocates you must also have procedures in place tracking those movements by establishing an Ongoing Data Maintenance program in order to ensure the timeliness of your data.

The other thing, so to speak, is that having things right (the first time) is always seen in the context of what was right at that time. Maybe you always asked your customers for a physical postal address, but because your way of doing business has changed, you actually become much more interested in having the eMail address. And, because What’s in an eMail Address, you would actually like to have had all of them. So your completeness went from being just fine to being just awful by following the same procedure as last year.

Predicting accuracy is hard. Expect to deal with Unpredictable Inaccuracy.       

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7 thoughts on “Things Change

  1. Wayne Colless 17th January 2011 / 04:22

    Great topic Henrik. Yes the timeliness of data is a crucial data quality element and one that can mean the difference between success and failure. People change details over time as they move house, get married, change name and so on. Some organisations find out before others. Some never find out. When it comes time to merge or match records for the same individual using such details in the process, the timeliness monster raises its head. If the details have been updated in one place and not in another, there are no prizes for guessing how successful your efforts will be.

    • Henrik Liliendahl Sørensen 17th January 2011 / 16:26

      Thanks Wayne for these timely observations on the effect of change in data matching.

    • Henrik Liliendahl Sørensen 17th January 2011 / 16:31

      Thanks Paige. I truly like your article on change in data integration. Well put.

  2. Steve Sarsfield 17th January 2011 / 22:17

    This calls for a type 3 slowly changing dimension implementation, me thinks.

    • Henrik Liliendahl Sørensen 17th January 2011 / 22:39

      Thanks for joining Steve. With the zodiacal sign I will then have:
      – Original sign: Capricorn
      – Current sign: Sagittarius
      – Effective date: 11/11/1111
      as the constellations has slowly moved since astrology was fixed some thousands year ago.

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