Following up on my post about word quality and inspired by a blog post by Joyce Norris-Montanari called “Things That Don’t Work So Well – Doing Analytics Before Their Time” in which the word “unmaintainable” is used I want to challenge my English spell checker even further with the rare and apparently not really existing word but frequent issue of unmaintainability.
This argument is about the data as plain data.
But there is also a maintainability (this is apparently a real word) issue around how we store data. I have many times conducted data quality exercises as deduplication and matching with and enriching from external reference data in order to reach a single version of the truth as far as it goes.
An often encountered problem is that this kind of data processing can get us somewhere close to a single version of the truth. But then there is a huge obstacle: You can’t get these great results back to the daily databases without destroying some of the correctness because the data structures don’t allow you to do that.
Such kind of unmaintainability is in my eyes a good argument for looking into master data management platforms that allows you to maintain your master data in the complexity that supports the business rules that make your company more competitive.