Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Proactive Data Quality - Demming revisited

DM Direct Newsletter , February 24, 2006 Issue, by Ken Karacsony reminds us that the stuff Demming told us about auditing for defects - not an efficient use of resources - remains true with the product is information/data quality. Quality has to be the goal of everyone on the job. Detecting data anomalies and sending them back for "cleaning" to the unit (in our case a school or district) is not an efficient approach. It does not address the root cause of the quality problem.

Inspection does not improve data quality; it only tells you that there is a problem. Cleansing the data after the fact does not remedy the problem - it only masks the problem. Companies are spending millions of dollars on initiatives to detect and cleanse data rather than applying the resources to actually improve the quality of their information. The best way to improve data quality is to produce quality data.
Data quality has to be part of individual accountability. It has to be sold as an efficiency issue. It has to be sold as part of doing a quality job.

These principles can and should be applied to school data.


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