Assessing and Improving Data Quality

No one gets up in the morning and says, “I’m going to make lots of data errors today.” Nor does any department head tell her people, “It’s okay to make errors, just as long as we meet our quotas” or “I know you haven’t been trained properly, but don’t worry about the data. They’re just for marketing anyway.” The problems would be much easier to solve if they were founded in malfeasance. Or ineptitude. Or computer systems that weren’t up to the task. I haven’t found any of these to be the case. Instead, I find that a broad and complicated mix of social, cultural, and political issues conspires to make data quality such a tough issue.

This chapter is designed to help managers improve the quality ...

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