Looking Beyond the Data Horizon: Building the Business Case for Data Quality
The Data Governance Tool Box: Do you have the right tools?

What You Don’t Know Will Hurt You

by Len Dubois, Sr. Vice President, Marketing & Sales Support, Trillium Software

Risks-aheadImagine you are a football coach and you need to create a scouting report for your next opponent. What if you can only see video footage, statics and previous reports from two out of the ten games on their schedule and only ten of their 53 players?  How can you possibly develop a game plan to help your team win? Seems like a ridiculous scenario, but the truth is business leaders operate just like this each and every day.

Bill Inmon, father of the data warehouse, has been quoted saying, “standard computing systems are only capable of analyzing 20 percent of entire data set views.” That leaves a whopping 80 percent of an organization’s data totally untouched, unable to even be factored into the mix for any business decision, big or small. Additional industry surveys have found that organizations have zero visibility into approximately 50% of their most important data. Think you are making sound decisions for your company?  Think again.

Every business wants to make the best possible decisions for their organization based on the very best data. The reality is that this requires the ability to incorporate data that is often hidden in big enterprise systems or excluded all together. The ability to access unstructured data held in free text forms, social media applications and elsewhere is critical to giving business not just a bigger picture of their world, but the actual picture of what is really happening.

For example, we’ve worked with leading insurance companies to help them unlock the power of their own data stored in free form text and scanned documents. Previously much of this data just sat unused! By helping these organizations access and analyze their full universe of claims data, we have demonstrated how they can increase customer retention and reduce overall claims costs.

While it is certainly true that you may not need access to 100 percent of your data, 20 percent or even 50 percent represents real risks to the strategic decision making ability of all companies. If your data quality solution doesn’t give you access to the data you need, it may be time for a different solution.

In my next post, I'll discuss how the right combination of automation and expertise can help you get access to your organization’s hidden data.

Len Dubois Len Dubois
Sr. Vice President, Marketing & Sales Support, Trillium Software

Len has been with Harte-Hanks for thirteen years and has more than fifteen years experience selling and marketing high-technology solutions. He is responsible for the strategic development and execution of worldwide marketing initiatives for Trillium Software. He created the Trillium Software System® brand that has been recognized as one of the top enterprise solutions in the data quality industry. Prior to coming to Harte-Hanks Trillium Software, Mr. Dubois was a Marketing Manager for Epsilon Data Management, Inc. He has spoken at Data Quality conferences in both the U.S. and UK. In addition, he has authored many articles on Data Quality and CRM.

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