We've all battled bad data from time to time - for example, trying to merge the customer records from different customer databases but never quite sure if this "John Smith" matches that "Jack Smith." Most of the discussions on how to fix bad data recommend that companies purchase technology: for example, a data cleansing tool that integrates with an extract, transform and load (ETL) package. However, bad data is much more than an undeliverable postal address - and there are fixes other than buying a software package. Here are two problems and corresponding fixes that I've discovered over the years.
An area that business intelligence (BI) professionals don't talk about much - I suspect because they view it as a political problem rather than a technological problem - is prying data loose from someone who is hoarding it. While it may not be inaccurate data, it can certainly lead to bad data, in the sense that a company can't understand the big picture without it.
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