This is the seventh in a series of discussions of quality guru W. Edwards Deming's Fourteen Points of Quality and their ramifications on data quality. Deming's fourth point of quality, "End the practice of awarding business on price tag alone," contradicts three commonly accepted IT practices that virtually guarantee non-quality data.

In previous columns I examined the first two of three counterproductive IT practices: 1. Reward project development for on-time/within budget alone--without real measure of the quality of the product delivered. This practice has the impact of actually increasing costs while increasing defects. (See November 1997 column.) 2. Model and build databases based upon the application project requirements alone--without involvement of stakeholders outside of the project scope. This practice leads to fragmented, non-integratable data models and non-sharable databases that appear to be cheaper for the project. Experience now has disproved this with increased complexity and costs of redundancy maintenance and increased data quality problems. (See December 1997 column.)

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