Jim Harris is an independent consultant, speaker and freelance writer. He is blogger-in-chief at Obsessive-Compulsive Data Quality, a blog offering a vendor-neutral perspective on data quality and related disciplines. Click here to follow him on Twitter, where he is very active. And listen to him here on OCDQ Radio.
Recent Stories From this Author
Sturgeon’s Law, Big Data and the New Literacy
August 17, 2014 Although you can view Big Data as Big Crap per Sturgeon’s Law, you can also view Big Data as Big Literacy
July 31, 2014 Is it possible some of the metrics your organization is relying on to support its data-driven business decisions could be the...
Data isn’t Everything
July 17, 2014 While becoming data-driven is a laudable goal, be wary of becoming too driven by data.
Turning Anecdote into Data
June 13, 2014 Data comes to us from somewhere since someone set up a procedure to collect and record it
Is Fitness Data not Fit for the Purpose of Use?
May 9, 2014 As we watch and see if fitness data proves fit for the purpose of its many potential uses, we should keep a close eye on not...
Data Governance, Commander’s Intent and Semper Gumby
April 24, 2014 Successful data governance is always faithful to its principles and always flexible in its policies
Get Framed for Data Quality
March 28, 2014 Comments on the rekindled data quality debate between real-world alignment and fitness for the purpose of use
Data Quality has a Rotating Frame of Reference
March 21, 2014 Data quality has a rotating frame of reference that can not be ignored
Timeliness is the Most Important Data Quality Dimension
February 27, 2014 More space is being created to deliver more data within the same, or smaller, time frames. Space is not the final frontier,...
The Two Characteristics of Data Accuracy
January 29, 2014 A data value must be both the right value and be represented in an unambiguous form
Is Poor Quality the Antihero of Data?
December 6, 2013 Possible benefits of poor data quality
Data Quality and the Blemishing Effect
November 6, 2013 Instead of emphasizing the negative aspects of not investing in data quality, what if we emphasized all the positives first?
Data Quality By Example: Old Beer bought by Old Man
October 23, 2013 A humorous example of data quality key concepts
Council Data Governance
October 15, 2013 Inspired by the great Eagles song "Hotel California," this data quality song is about the common mistake of convening a...
Data Quality in 6 Verbs
October 1, 2013 Critical topics for data quality practitioners, emphasizing the need to take action
Is DG a D-O-G?
September 20, 2013 Maybe the data governance message is similar to a sound only dogs can hear
What an Old Dictionary Teaches Us About Metadata
September 5, 2013 In theory, a metadata dictionary is a trusted authority for all your data questions, but can it deliver on that promise?
The Stone Wars of Root Cause Analysis
August 28, 2013 Data quality is a journey, not a destination
Big Data is Just Another Brick in the Wall
August 7, 2013 Is big data another random brick on an already crowded foundataion?
Data, Metadata and the Assumption of Quality
July 9, 2013 Caution on underlying accuracy of recommendation engines
When Can Worse Data Quality Be Better?
June 12, 2013 Three examples when consumer electronics rightly took the low road
Pondering a Big Data Philosophy
May 17, 2013 Data science roles may bridge analysis and insight
Galileo, the Hubble and Clear Data Insight
May 7, 2013 Like a view of the cosmos, information breakthroughs need not rely on perfection
When Poor Data Quality Lands on the Ledger
April 18, 2013 Bad data can result in costs and profits but estimations can be vague
Poor Data Quality That Kills
April 11, 2013 Perfect data isnt always in order. But bad data can be deadly
Data Quality and the OK Plateau
April 2, 2013 Is it OK to be content with data quality at a point short of perfection?
Can Expectations Alter Data Quality?
March 21, 2013 Giving business a new frame of mind on the data warehouse
What is the Philosophy of Data Science?
March 18, 2013 Humanizing big data, analytics as a bridge to business value and insight
Data Governance: Are You Planning or Searching?
March 6, 2013 Go beyond common sense to root out poor data, process behaviors
Early Governance Success, Then a Backslide
February 13, 2013 Keep monitoring data programs, or suffer from Hawthorne Effect
Unlimited Messages in the Big Data Inbox
February 5, 2013 Filtering the hype through analytic maturity, business truths
Master Data Management in Doctor Whos Terms
January 28, 2013 Data asset and location arent always at the top of MDM discussions, but hold important distinctions
Popeye, a Hero of Poor Data Decisions
January 23, 2013 In the cartoon heros spinach strength, we see how data quality issues can persist
Choosing Blindness with Business Data
January 8, 2013 Akin to bizarre brain disorder, perceptions on data quality impair decisions
The Future of Data Wisdom
December 5, 2012 Reflecting on new Hornthal book and how crowds, friends and experts will shape decision making
Acknowledging Errors in Data Quality
October 23, 2012 Would a list of business impacts from poor data change your program support?
Big Data Shakes Traditional BI Perspectives
October 4, 2012 Exploring differing data definitions, with a touch of Dickens
Collaboration: The Cornerstone of Enterprise Data Programs
September 19, 2012 Teamwork rests under complex concepts of MDM, data quality and governance
Cooks, Chefs and Data Governance
September 4, 2012 Many organizations think data governance policies are recipes and employees are cooks, but the long-term success of a data...
Relationship Advice for Data Quality
August 21, 2012 Metadata suffers from the one-too-many relationships weve created by seemingly never agreeing on how data, information...
Does Big Data Need a Diet?
August 1, 2012 Quality information emphasis avoids morbidly obese data
Higgs Boson as a Data Quality Measurement?
July 13, 2012 Metadata has different values in scientific metaphor
Social Checks on Data Quality
July 10, 2012 Context, clarity and collaboration prove their roles in framing information
Metadata and the Stroop Effect
June 26, 2012 Metadata and the Stroop Effect: data quality issues similar to psychological demonstration
The Data Quality is Falling!
June 12, 2012 Chicken Little Syndrome infects some vendor, consultant data pitches
Are You a Bystander to Bad Data?
June 5, 2012 Data quality requires ownership and accountability
Data Cleansing is a Life Saver
May 15, 2012 How Hubble peered into a health crisis
Fail Faster Flaws
May 7, 2012 Innovation theory has two big problems
Data Quality: Get Ahead in the Count
April 16, 2012 The positives of pitching at data perfection
First Pitch Toward Data Quality
April 11, 2012 MLB stats analogous to business predictors
Data Science from a Different Angle
March 30, 2012 The weight (and weightlessness) of your data systems
Data and Physical Realities
March 22, 2012 We continue to see more physical tools transforming into apps and data on our smart phones, tablets and other mobile devices
Business Relativity and the Danger of Data Myopia
March 20, 2012 Examining the two most prevalent perspectives on defining data quality
Miracle Exceptions in Data Quality
March 1, 2012 Picking sides on data solutions can lead to oversimplification of problems
Data Quality: Quo Vadimus?
February 27, 2012 We must not cease from exploring new ways to continuously improve our data quality and continuously put into practice our data...
The Algebra of Collaboration
February 16, 2012 Organizations that are successful with data quality and data governance view collaboration not just as a guiding principle,...
The Big Data Lebowski
January 30, 2012 Data abides the business if it proves useful to our business activities
Dot Collectors and Dot Connectors
January 17, 2012 Fast-moving and large volumes of varying data are transforming the way we have to view traditional data management and...
A Data Governance Framework Jigsaw Puzzle
January 10, 2012 Theres no last piece with an ongoing governance program
You Only Get a Return from Something You Actually Invest In
December 8, 2011 Although the reason that you likely purchased a data quality tool is because you have business-critical data quality problems,...
There is No Such Thing as a Root Cause
December 5, 2011 Most people within the industry, myself included, often discuss the importance of determining the root cause of data...
Bayesian Data-Driven Decision Making
December 1, 2011 A key concept of statistical process control and continuous improvement is the importance of closing the feedback loop that...
No Datum is an Island of Serendip
November 29, 2011 When data is exchanged across organizational boundaries, and shared with the entire enterprise, it enables the...
The Speed of Decision
November 18, 2011 Although we cant afford to completely sacrifice data quality for faster business decisions, and obviously high quality...
You Say Potato and I Say Tater Tot
November 10, 2011 The lines separating metadata, data and information are not just an esoteric technical debate. These demarcations are...
The Three Most Important Letters in Data Governance
November 8, 2011 We should pay careful attention to how we are priming people to think and act within the context of data governance...
The Metadata Continuum
November 3, 2011 What are the roles of controlled vocabularies and metadata dictionaries in your organization?
The Interconnected User Interface
November 1, 2011 Natural organizational myopia restricts our vision to seeing only what is right in front of us
The Big Data Collider
November 1, 2011 Smashing data "particles" together may destroy most of the noise in the collision, allowing the signals that survive that...
The Metadata Crisis
October 27, 2011 Although its often overlooked, there is a strong relationship between metadata and data quality, and by extension,...
Data Governance and the Adjacent Possible
October 21, 2011 Perhaps we need to think about the path of data governance evolution as a never-ending journey, which begins by opening that...
Turning Data Silos into Glass Houses
October 13, 2011 An early goal of a new data governance program should be to provide the organization with a substantially improved view of how...
Aristotle, Data Governance and Lead Rulers
September 29, 2011 Instead of focusing on who should lead the way, we should focus on what the rules of data governance are made of
September 20, 2011 Through an ancient allegory, we're reminded that data shapes our perception of the real world, but is only a partial...
The Data Cold War
August 29, 2011 Companies like Google and Facebook have socialized data in order to capitalize data as a true corporate asset
A Farscape Analogy for Data Quality
August 16, 2011 Perhaps data has so thoroughly pervaded the enterprise that it has become invisible to those who use it
Are You Turning Ugly Data Into Cute Information?
August 2, 2011 Defect prevention and data cleansing are two of the required disciplines of an enterprise-wide data quality program
Data, Information, and Knowledge Management
July 26, 2011 I cant help but wonder if the debate about data and information obfuscates the fact that the organizations...
Data Quality Mischief Managed
July 19, 2011 Data quality methodology is like the books of spells and potions in Harry Potter, which are also not magic in and of...
The Stakeholders Dilemma
July 12, 2011 Organizations embarking on an enterprise-wide initiative, such as data quality, master data management, and data governance,...
Data Governance and Information Quality 2011
July 5, 2011 Sessions included continuous cycle of data quality improvements and making governance plans a reality
Stuck in the Middle with Data Governance
June 23, 2011 When governance pervades every level of the organization, everyone stops thinking in terms of top-down and bottom-up
Data Governance Star Wars: The Force of Agility
June 9, 2011 Agility may be the answer when confronted by the "phantom menace" of complexity from data governance policies and bureaucracy
Got Data Quality?
May 24, 2011 No matter what your perspective is regarding the appropriate data goal for your organization, at the very least, I think that...
The Dichotomy Paradox, Data Quality and Zero Defects
May 5, 2011 100 percent data quality is a laudable goal but its theory and practice comes from manufacturing quality. The given...
The Data Governance Oratorio
April 25, 2011 Data governance is a cross-functional, enterprise-wide initiative, but individuals must be held accountable for their specific...
How Active is Your Data Quality Practice?
April 18, 2011 As online community and Web poll show, methods toward accurate data are up for debate
The Data Quality Wager
April 14, 2011 How is your organization assessing risk and data projects?
Follow the Data
March 30, 2011 A common root cause of poor data quality is this lack of awareness of the end-to-end process of how the organization is using...
Retroactive Data Quality
March 22, 2011 Imagine if we could somehow travel back in time (or reach for the remote) and prevent specific business-impacting occurrences...
Beware the Data Governance Ides of March
March 15, 2011 During the transition of power, from policy definition to policy implementation and enforcement, lies the greatest challenge...
Thalers Apples and Data Quality Oranges
March 7, 2011 A time-inconsistent data quality preference within BI reflects the reality that with the speed at which things change these...
Data Confabulation in Business Intelligence
February 28, 2011 I fear that the information overload of the data deluge is going to trigger an intuition override of data-driven decision making
Has Data Become a Four-Letter Word?
February 22, 2011 In organizations suffering from this unresolved conflict between IT and the Business, bad data becomes the default scapegoat...
The People Platform
February 14, 2011 BPM, data quality management and technology management are all people-driven activities because people optimize business...
Why Isnt Our Data Quality Worse?
February 4, 2011 We all have a natural tendency to focus more on the negative aspects, rather than on the positive aspects, of most situations,...
Is Your Data Complete and Accurate, But Useless to Your Business?
February 1, 2011 Data quality can be misperceived to be an activity performed just for the sake of the data
The Collaborative Culture of Data Governance
January 1, 2011 Data Quality Success Means Taking Responsibility and Playing For The Same Team, Enterprise Wide