Boost Your Data Governance Strategy with the Right Data Quality Metrics

  • by Laura Casasanto, Former Managing Editor
  • April 28, 2010
Data quality metrics are critical to proving the value of your data governance strategy to business users. However, selecting the right metrics can be challenging. In this article, Jason McClain of Deloitte & Touche, LLP, illustrates a four-point strategy for choosing the right metrics for your company.

Neglecting data governance can lead to several issues, including poor user adoption. If records are disorganized or unexplained, users might reject a new system. Data needs to be easily understood and located in order for users to embrace a new system.

Of course, having an effective data governance strategy only takes you so far. You also have to prove to your business users that the strategy is necessary to ensure the ongoing quality of data. Data quality can degrade over time due to a lack of resources or other behind-the-scenes issues, so it is important to track potential problems using metrics.  

“Data governance is something that sounds logical and sensible, yet many organizations find it difficult to value or judge the return on investment,” says Jason McClain, senior manager, Deloitte & Touche LLP. “So what I’ve personally found successful is using metrics to really explain that your data is being controlled and maintained in a good fashion, that it’s not degrading. That right there can demonstrate the value of a good governance process.”

Agreeing on appropriate metrics can be challenging, according to McClain. Business users may want simplicity whereas the data governance function may require more complex metrics. However, over the course of several implementations, McClain has identified four key elements of a good data quality metric strategy (Figure 1):

  • Know your audience
  • Know what to measure
  • Know when and how to report
  • Know your goals

Laura Casasanto

Laura Casasanto is a technical editor who served as the managing editor of SCM Expert and Project Expert.

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