Businesses that get caught up in the excitement of using data to improve their short- and long-term operations sometimes overlook the less vibrant parts of information management and use that make data actionable. For example, organizational information about customers, products and productivity, business trends and other areas is useful only when it’s been cleansed and updated on a regular schedule.
Data quality is one of the most necessary components of overall informational use for businesses, but it’s not always prioritized correctly. The draw of accessing more information or putting it to use quickly can overpower thoughts of database cleansing and related measures, leading to persistent, long-term problems related to data use.
One of the biggest issues that comes along with data that has been improperly cleaned or otherwise neglected is accessibility. Not only does information accuracy decline without a system in place to keep it current, but it also becomes harder to quickly and correctly use it. Data quality blog OCDQ pointed to accessibility as one of the most important factors in the overall correct use of data. In terms of business applications, consider the issue in these terms: Does a company want employees consistently wasting time due to bad data quality and accessibility?
Keeping data clean and ready
It isn’t obvious at first, but a high level of data quality makes the use of such information more expedient. Employees won’t have to double check, change and reconfigure the data they’re trying to use. Instead, they can quickly and accurately generate the business intelligence they need for a specific report or get in touch with the correct customer. Data blog Ringlead pointed to the overwhelming need for not only accuracy in data itself, but also consistency in how it’s presented for businesses to extract the most value from it.
Businesses that have less experience in the field of data quality solutions, or those that are relatively new to the use of information in some operational functions, may view paying attention to quality and accessibility as another responsibility. Attention needs to be paid to these two key areas, however. If there aren’t strong data quality standards in place, the value of stored information decreases. Similarly, a lack of attention to organization and accessibility means plenty of avoidable wasted time.