Lego Blocks and data quality

Lego Plane

Lego Plane

Lego blocks allow the average person to build practically anything, because they come in standard sizes, and interconnect with ease.

Having built a model, one may later take it apart and reuse the standard blocks to build other models.  One may do this time and again, giving hours of enjoyment.

Plane carved from wood

Plane carved from wood

By contrast, few people have the skill to carve models from wood.

Once carved, it is practically impossible to ‘remodel’, and completely impossible to reuse any of the parts for other than firewood.

What has the above ‘common sense’ got to do with data quality?

Imagine trying to build a lego model using partially moulded lego blocks?  Imagine opening your lego model kit to discover that some of the pieces were missing.  Truly unimaginable.

We in the Data Quality Profession need to educate both Business and IT on the need to create “standard data components”, that can be easily interconnected to satisfy the information requirements of the business.

Currently, the focus of the Data Quality Industry is on data “Fixing” – remoulding data into parts that are more complete, and more useable.  I see this continuing for a long time, due to the vast quantity of legacy data.   I see the focus moving more towards “get it right first time’ with the emphasis on creating completely moulded, standard component parts from the outset.

2 thoughts on “Lego Blocks and data quality

  1. Great Lego Blog, Ken.

    I while ago I wrote a blog post called Service Oriented Data Quality focussing on how I see a great near future where data quality prevention components may be deployed all over the IT landscape supporting people doing business processes in getting it right the first time.

    Taking the risk of being seen as a buzzword accelerator I now have the term “Service Oriented Data Quality” coming up (1 hit already on google though).

    Not that I don’t like the Lego approach, I really do – but I have been at Lego’s intellectual property department and said hello to the army of knowledge workers there chasing all attempts on any use by others of these plastic things and their name.

    Anyway, focussing on the need to have “standard data components” that may used directly as information or easily interconnected with other “standard data components” for other information requirements is a must for building the sustainable Data Architecture – and not at least the contained quality data – that is so vital for a Service Oriented Architecture.

  2. Pingback: Plug and Play Data – The future for Data Quality « Ken O'Connor Data Consultant

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