Few things are as embarassing (cool double entendre) as having your pants pulled down in public. While it is great fun to see it done figuratively to someone else (real world on the grade school playground), it can really cramp both careers and management practice in the corporate world.
Just when you have the fought for budget money to put into some cool analytics or reporting…the project is up and running, you’re day dreaming about keeping your job (maybe a raise!). Then, the project status rolls across your desk: bad data, instant project over-run. The problem is worst-case scenario; bad data tends to be discovered just as the project goes live with no quiet opportunity to fix it. The money is gone and everybody is looking (yep, just like second grade, lunch money is gone and…).
Don’t you just love going back to the C-Suite for more project budget (feel like you’ve just been pantsed?) Ouch! This one needs to be avoided at all costs. How to do it is the tough part. Does anybody really want to go into the C-Suite and say, “Our corporate data may not be, uh, kosher?” There is a real career enhancer for any CIO. So you need to do what any red-blooded CIO would do, bury the cost in another part of the project. No one wants to champion a project entitled “Fixing Corporate Data Assets”. How did they get messed-up in the first place? Guess who gets blamed?
No one wants to hear about legacy code and budget reductions. There is no wide-eyed fascination regarding aging databases suffering from too many corporate mergers and grafted on must-have emergency applications. Well, if they don’t want to hear about that, why go through it. Don’t tell me problems, get me solutions! Well, here you go, as requested.
Instead, early in an analytics or reporting initative, put in a sub-task to test existing data for proper compliance to the stated information delivery goals (see that doesn’t feel scary, just numbing). Overall match to corporate data governance and meta data management standards can be tested at the same time, who could argue with that? Just a little bit of testing, call it project (career) insurance.
The next step should be obvious, even to a CIO. Slide one of these sub-tasks in each project initative (they go togther like “sliders, beer, and baseball”!). Before you know it the Corporate Data Assets are in tip top shape, without the nasty embarassment of a major budget line item.