Chapter 6: The Business Case for Accurate Data

Chapter 6: The Business Case for Accurate Data


It has historically been difficult for data quality advocates to get corporations to make significant commitments and spend adequate money to create and maintain an effective data quality assurance function. The business case has always been evident, but quantifying it, determining the opportunity for improvements, and comparing it to other corporate opportunities has always been difficult to do and frequently has been unsuccessful.

Data quality has too often been one of those topics that everyone knows is important but just does not generate enough enthusiasm to get something done about it. Most CIOs will tell you they should be doing more. However, they then prioritize it down the list and give it little support.

There are a number of reasons for the difficulties that have plagued data quality efforts. It is a tough topic to build a business case for. Many of the factors are purely speculative unless the work to correct them has already been done. This means you have to spend the money to find out if it was worth-while or not.

This chapter outlines some of the factors and thought processes that come into play when trying to get commitments and funding for data quality activities. Each corporation addresses funding in its own unique way. It is not possible to lay out a justification path that works for all of them. It is helpful to understand the nature of the beast in order to build a workable business case strategy appropriate to your own corporation.