Reading a blog post by David Loshin called Data Governance and Quality: Data Reuse vs. Data Repurposing I was, perhaps a bit off topic, inspired to pose the question about if data are of high quality if they are:
- Fit for the purpose of use
- Fit for repurposing
The first definition has been around for many years and has been adapted by many data quality practitioners. I have however often encountered situations where the reuse of data for other purposes than the original purpose has raised data quality issues with else cleared data. One of my first pieces on my own blog discussed that challenge in a post called Fit for what purpose?
Not at least within master data management where data are maintained for multiple uses, this problem is very common.
Data in a master data hub may either:
- Be entered directly into the hub where multiple uses is handled
- Be loaded from other sources where data capture was done
In the latter case the data governance necessary to ensure fitness for multiple uses must stretch to the ingestion in these sources.
Now, if repurposing is seen as a future not yet discovered purpose of use, what can you then do to ensure that data today are fit for future repurposing?
The only answer is probably real world alignment as discussed here on a page called Data Quality 3.0. Make sure your data are reflecting the real world as close as we can when captured and make sure data can be maintained in order to keep that alignment. And make sure this is done and facilitated where data are entered.
This is absolutely true and frequently overlooked – particularly when dealing with data that is amalgamated from multiple sources such as a data migration (http://dataqualitymatters.wordpress.com/2011/09/23/data-migrations-good-opportunity-to-improve-data-quality/) or a mdm project.
My post about data migrations and data quality received a lot of comment defending the position that data quality is irrelevant as it will impact on the budget and time lines.
the point is that it is necessary to understand how data will be reused and repurposed when planning a migration – and to plan and adapt at an early stage will in the long run save time and money
have a great weekend
Good to see you back here Gary. Exactly. So you may say that migration is a good opportunity to get typically master data aligned with the real world. This is an exercise I have been involved with a lot.