I am a fan of Edward De Bono, the originator of the concept of Lateral Thinking. One of my favourite examples of De Bono’s brilliance, relates to dealing with the worldwide problem of river pollution.
De Bono suggested “each factory must be downstream of itself” – i.e. Require factories’ water inflow pipes to be just downstream of their outflow pipes.
Suddenly, the water quality in the outflow pipe becomes a lot more important to the factory. Apparently several countries have implemented this idea as law.
What has this got to do with data quality?
By applying the same principle to data entry, all downstream data users will benefit, and information quality will improve.
How could this be done?
It is part of human nature for each of us to take pride in what we do, pride in the outputs we produce. By measuring data quality at point of entry, and providing real-time feedback to data entry personnel, it tells them that their work matters, and enables them to take greater pride in their work.
I believe the above can help solve Common Enterprise Wide Data Governance Issue: #2 The quality of data entered by front-end staff is not as high as desired.
I hope to revisit the “Data River” in future blog posts. Meanwhile, put your “Lateral Thinking” cap on. How may ideas from other spheres in life help organisations improve their Data Quality?