The Data Warehouse Institute (TDWI) estimates that businesses lose over $600 billion dollars a year as a result of bad data quality. The consequences of incorrect information can be harsh – one New York bank almost went out of business after purchasing another bank whose bad debt ratio was too high. Bank of America received a bit of embarrassing press last month when their plans to raise buy back stocks and dividends were put on hold after they mistakenly submitted faulty data to the Federal Reserve.
We have all seen that bad data can lead to situations that are not ideal, to say the least, and there’s a lot of ways that data can go wrong. Maintaining high data quality involves a wide spectrum of things – the accuracy, completeness, and usefulness of the data itself, the business processes by which it was acquired and entered, and the way the data is managed. With so much to take into consideration, data management is unsurprisingly difficult. Many organizations have a hard time preventing data crises instead of reacting to them. In fact, in a TDWI survey, only 34% of organizations reported that they typically prevent data quality problems at the source. For those of you who don’t practice perfect data management (a.k.a. everyone), I’ve included a few tips on how automating your processes can help you to improve data quality.
1. Practice good data profiling, and don’t do it manually. Understanding what data that you have and how you can use it is the first step to successful data management. To get the fastest and most accurate results, it’s best to use data profiling tools that can automate this process.
2. Automate your data entry. TDWI’s survey reported that 75% of data problems involved incorrect data entry by employees. Not only will your data become more accurate with automation, employees will have more time to allocate to more important tasks.
3. Manage your data continuously. A one-time check-up won’t cut it. Data profiling and data correction should be done often to ensure data is not only accurate, but also audit-ready and compliant with regulations. Even this can be automated and set to repeat regularly with a business process solution.
The road to great data quality is long, but you don’t have to travel it without help. Business process automation solutions can enable you to efficiently manage your data while improving its quality. To learn more about how your data can benefit from automation, contact us or download our guide to Enterprise Content Management below.
Sources: The Data Warehouse Institute http://download.101com.com/pub/TDWI/Files/RRS_Q106_EDQ.pdf