Where challenge and opportunity collide: Big data meets data governance

I'm old enough to remember the days before the explosions of social media, the web, smartphones and data. Upon graduating from college and even grad school in the mid-'90s, organizations could effectively monitor how their employees used enterprise information. Whether or not they achieved that objective, though, was another matter altogether.

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Streaming to better data quality

businesswoman happy about streaming to better data qualityStreaming technologies have been around for years, but as Felix Liao recently blogged, the numbers and types of use cases that can take advantage of these technologies have now increased exponentially. I've blogged about why streaming is the most effective way to handle the volume, variety and velocity of big data. That's because it provides a faster way to gain business insights from big data than what traditional store-it-first-analyze-it-later approaches are typically capable of delivering.

So, we can agree that streaming is beneficial for big data analytics. But could streaming also be beneficial for data quality? Read More »

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The yin and yang of better data and analytics

What are the most useful skills a data quality leader can possess?

As an editor of an online data quality magazine, I naturally get asked this type of question regularly at events and meetups. My answer may surprise some who are expecting a data-centric response. I firmly believe that sales and marketing are the most useful (and overlooked) skills of a data quality leader.

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Data privacy in a mobile world

considering data privacy in a mobile worldIt's no overstatement to say that smartphones have changed just about everything. Cases in point include:

  • Brick-and-mortar stores now serve as de facto showrooms for Amazon.
  • No longer do you have to drive to your office to check e-mail or even get a little work done.
  • Via beacons and location-enabled services, companies can now tailor time-specific offerings to customers in previously impossible ways.

And we're just getting started.

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Linking identifiers for improved analytics

In my last post we started looking at the issue of identifier proliferation, in which different business applications assigned their own unique identifiers to data representing the same entities. Even master data management (MDM) applications are not immune to this issue, particularly because of the inherent semantics associated with the assignment of the identifier to the class of entity to be managed.

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How Santa uses data quality to wrap up Christmas

santa uses data quality to wrap up christmas"Two weeks to go," Santa said to himself, with millions of toys stacked up on the shelves.

Each year worry hit at the same time – "How do I get the right toy to the right child without losing my mind?"

Though Old St. Nick didn't have a computer science degree, deep down he knew he was talking about data quality.

Verify those addresses to reduce mailing costs, optimize delivery routes to save the reindeer from frost.

Elves built the toys straight from the heart, but they need standardized terms so they have the right parts.

Without data they could trust, decisions were bad. And with inaccurate inventories, not enough toys were had.

Santa had inconsistent reports at each elf workstation, and problems meeting the new Arctic regulations.

Too few Hatchimals delivered to the wrong city. Santa knew this was a job for SAS Data Quality. Read More »

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Creating analytics? Don't forget a supplier SLA policy.

team meeting to discuss data quality SLAsDuring a data quality assessment, one of my clients discovered that a large chunk of data that ultimately fed into their business analytics engine was sourced externally. After examining the contracts surrounding this data, I found that 100% of it failed to possess service-level agreements (SLAs) for the quality of information expected.

I see this problem time after time in organisations of all sizes. Data just isn’t factored into service-level contracts. As a result, any defects get passed down the line as service issues, unplanned administrative costs and decreased profitability.

What if you operated a restaurant but failed to hold your food suppliers to adequate service levels for timeliness or quality of produce? Your business wouldn’t last long.

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Identity, identification and the proliferation of identifiers

I was surprised to learn recently that despite the reams of laws and policies directing the protection of personally identifiable information (PII) across industries and government agencies, more than 50 million Medicare beneficiaries were issued cards with a Medicare Beneficiary Number that's based on their Social Security Number (SSN). That's right – the same SSN that's the key artifact required for identity theft is used as part of millions of existing Medicare Health Insurance Claim Numbers (HICNs). This poses a significant threat of PII exposure.

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