I am a big fan of the site Wikipedia. In fact, as a connoisseur of random tidbits that put the average reader off, I can’t go a day without spending at least 30 minutes reading about some off-the-beaten-path topic.

I also know though, that if I were to cite Wikipedia in this article, it would be irresponsible reporting on my part. It’s a crowdsourced encyclopedia of knowledge, meaning anyone in the world can edit any article at anytime. In other words, in the Wikipedia world, Big Data could be defined as “big” only if it weighs over 50 pounds. While that could give you a chuckle, it’s not exactly credible stuff.

And it doesn’t matter that 99% of the Wikipedia article that I could use as a basis for this article is true. It’s that 1% — edited by some troublemaker, no doubt! — that could damage the credibility of our site, our mission, and our organization, were this misguided “advice” to be used by our readers in their decision-making process.

Much in the same way, an organization’s poor data quality can supremely influence the end result negatively, and impede the ability to make effective data-driven decisions. And this is just from a few measly missing fields or a couple of corrupted records.

In fact, Aberdeen Group Vice President & Principal Analyst, Analytics & BI, Mike Lock cites that poor data quality can lead to impediments in the decision process, misguided conclusions, and missed business opportunities. However, the research does show that high data quality leads to quite the opposite result. In fact:


And leading businesses are achieving this higher-quality data because of these key, contributing factors:


By putting in the legwork with factors such as data preparation, leading organizations find that there is an accelerated decision process (72% of companies saw an improvement in analysis time), more accurate analyses (92% of data records being complete and accurate), and significantly enhanced business results (AKA — organizations with high data quality experienced a 14% YoY increase in revenue).

Just like you wouldn’t want to be influenced by misinformation in this article from some crackpot Wikipedia post, you wouldn’t want your organization’s business-critical decisions to be made upon bad data. By being in the business of quality control, you’re virtually guaranteeing that bad data — and in turn, bad decisions — are a thing of the past.

To learn more, check out the free Aberdeen Group report, The Three Levels of ROI from Data Quality Initiatives.

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