The first step in building a quality data program is getting senior management to sign on, but achieving that objective isn’t easy, says a new report from The Data Warehousing Institute. “A lot of executives talk about data quality, but few do anything about it,” says Jim Lair, chairman of the Center for Data Quality. “Only a disaster gets people to address data quality issues.”

In a recent survey of more than 600 companies by The Data Warehousing Institute, front-line workers, the information technology department and business analysts were in charge of most corporate data quality programs. Only 11 percent had corporate executives involved. “Although IT must be involved in the process, it doesn’t have the clout to change business processes or behavior that can substantially improve data quality,” the TDWI report says. According to the report, the best way to initiate a data quality program is to fold into a stewardship or administration program. “These programs are typically chartered to establish and maintain consistent data definitions and business rules so the company can achieve a single version of the truth, the report says.

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