The ups and downs with anecdotal evidence in data management

Anecdotes are powerful when working with getting awareness of opportunities in the data quality, data governance and Master Data Management (MDM) realm. Such anecdotes are most often either external or internal data and information train-wrecks, while the success stories are more seldom – at least until now in my experience.

Using anecdotal evidence is useful when identifying major pain points with potential for improvement and are indispensable when striving to get a common understanding about the issues to be solved.

However, it is within data management as in all other disciplines dangerous to jump to conclusions based on anecdotal evidence. We do need some more scientific evidence to nail the collection of issues and the prioritizing of proper solutions.

HippoThe anecdotal evidences with the highest weights are those included according to the HiPPO (Highest Paid Person’s Opinion) principle as examined in the post When Rhino Hunt and the HiPPO Principle makes a Perfect Storm. Here we may have a clash between getting executive sponsorship and support for a given programme and actually doing the right things, based on scientific evidence, within the programme.

What are your experiences and lessons learned? How have you managed to balance anecdotal evidence and scientific evidence in data management?

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