There are many rights enshrined in law that benefit all of us. One example is the UN Charter of Human Rights. Another example is the “Consumer Rights” protection most countries enforce to guarantee us, the buying public, the right to expect goods and services that are of good quality and “fit for purpose”. As buyers of goods and services, we also have responsibilities. If you or I buy a “Rolex watch” for $10 from a casual street vendor, we cannot claim consumer protection rights if the watch stops working within a week. “Let the buyer beware” or “Caveat Emptor” is the common sense responsibility that we, as consumers must observe.
I have previously written about business users’ right to expect good data plumbing. Business users (of data) have responsibilities also. I believe its time to agree a charter of rights and responsibilities for them. Business users of data are “Data Consumers” – people who use data to perform their work, whatever work that may be. Data Consumers make decisions based on the data or information available to them. Examples can range from a doctor prescribing medication based on the information in a patient’s health records, to a multi-national chief executive deciding to buy a business based on the performance figures available, to an actuary developing an internal model to determine Solvency II Capital Requirements.
What rights and responsibilities should data consumers have?
Here’s my starter set:
- The right to expect data that is “fit for purpose”, data that is complete, appropriate and accurate.
- The responsibility to define what “fit for purpose” data means to them.
- The right to expect guidance and assistance in defining what constitutes complete, appropriate and accurate data for them.
- The responsibility to explain the impact that “sub-standard” data would have on the work they do.
- The right to be informed of the actual quality of the data they use.
- The right to expect controls in place that verify the quality of the data they use meets the standard they require.
What do you think ? Please feedback your suggestions: