JUN 29, 2012 9:48pm ET

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Living with Imperfect Data

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In a keynote at our MDM & Data Governance conference in Toronto a few days ago, an executive from a large analytical software company said something interesting that stuck with me. I am paraphrasing from memory, but it was very much to the effect of, “Sometimes it’s better to have everyone agreeing on numbers that aren’t entirely accurate than having everyone off doing their own numbers.”

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Comments (5)
There is seldom one version of the truth in business, especially when it comes to meta data.

Sales, operations, product, and even the customer look at things in different ways. They may 'agree' on what is in the ERP master, but will use different ways, usually excel, to look at it the way they need to to get things done. Plus things are changing in terms of customers and products so quickly a rigid data governance process may actually slow down progress.

Sometimes this can be taken care of through the use of multiple hierarchies mapped together. Difficult to do, but there are some tools out there that are designed for the purpose, link below

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Md7XXb2AIqc

Posted by Jon B | Monday, July 02 2012 at 12:03PM ET
There is often two or more versions of the truth in areas of life/work other than IT, so it's not surprising to me that we eventually see it professionally IT work as well. We are so accustomed to dealing with the deterministic world of computers that it is sometimes difficult to grasp that there is rarely an absolute "truth" in any field. Our goal should not be "a single version of the truth" but how do we enumerate, rationalize and manage all the different versions of the truth. I see this as a driver for new essential work for IT people to do and that's a good thing.
Posted by Wayne K | Monday, July 02 2012 at 3:41PM ET
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