Omni-purpose Data Quality

QualityA recent post on this blog was called Omni-purpose MDM. Herein it is discussed in what degree MDM solutions should cover all business cases where Master Data Management plays a part.

Master Data Management (MDM) is very much about data quality. A recurring question in the data quality realm is about if data quality should be seen as in what degree data are fit for the purpose of use or if the degree of real world alignment is a better measurement.

The other day Jim Harris published a blog post called Data Quality has a Rotating Frame of Reference. In a comment Jim takes up the example of having a valid address in your database records and how measuring address validity may make no sense for measuring how data quality supports a certain business objective.

My experience is that if you look at each business objective at a time measuring data quality against the purpose of use is sound of course. However, if you have several different business objectives using the same data you will usually discover that aligning with the real world fulfills all the needs. This is explained further within the concept of Data Quality 3.0.

Using the example of a valid address measurements, and actual data quality prevention, typically work with degrees of validity as notably:

  • The validity in different levels as area, entrance and specific unit as examined in the post A Universal Challenge.
  • The validity of related data elements as an address may be valid but the addressee is not as examined in the post Beyond Address Validation.

Data quality needs for a specific business objective also changes over time. As a valid address may be irrelevant for invoicing if either the mail carrier gets it there anyway or we invoice electronically, having a valid address and addressee suddenly becomes fit for the purpose of use if the invoice is not paid and we have to chase the debt.

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