Warning about warnings

In the two months where I have been living now I have seen as many warnings about ”wet floor” and ”slippery ground” as I had until then in my entire life. And I’m not that young.

Given the amount of these warnings all over makes me think that the message is: “Yes, we know that you may tilt and hurt yourself. Actually we don’t care and we don’t intend to do anything about it. But at least now you can’t say, that we didn’t warn you”.

It also makes me think about what is being done about poor data quality all over. There are lots of warnings out there and lots of ways and methodology available about how to measure bad data. But when it comes to actually doing something to solve the problems, well, warning signs seems to be the most preferred remedy.

I’m as guilty as anyone else I guess. I have even proposed a data quality immaturity model once.

Doing something about “wet floor” and “slippery ground” often have a short term workaround and a long term solution. And actually “wet floor” is often due to a recent cleaning action.

A common saying is: “Don’t Bring Me Problems—Bring Me Solutions!”.

Let’s try to put up fewer warning signs and work on having less slippery ground including immediately after a cleaning action.

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3 thoughts on “Warning about warnings

  1. J. Cliff Elam (@cliffelam) 1st December 2011 / 04:04

    Well, you know, it’s not actually about the floor being particularly slippery, it’s about the legal (and financial) problems of people claiming to have slipped.

    Kind of the opposite of DQ problems, in one way.


    PS – Hope you are enjoying your new locale?

  2. Marie Haggberg (@HaggbergConsult) 1st December 2011 / 08:42

    This very much strikes home for me. Some time back, I shephered an ETL effort involving imports of data from external partners. I strongly advocated for an error reporting mechanism (and built the framework for same “under the radar”) but the reporting piece was deferred – until an unannounced file format change by one partner caused most of our imported records to fail validation, based on a required column being empty.

    Subsequently, error reporting was put in queue, but not before an annoyed customer needed placating.

    Good to be reading your fine posts once again Henrik!

  3. Henrik Liliendahl Sørensen 3rd December 2011 / 10:10

    Thanks Cliff and Marie.

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