BI for data cleansing is high value

imageContinuing the theme on getting BI value,  a recent Forrester article  Getting The Most Out Of BI , warns against getting too excited about lower initial costs in deploying BI options.

Estimates are at least 80% of any BI effort lies in data sourcing, data integration, data cleansing and modeling,. "So while lower-cost BI alternatives will save you some dollars in building reports and dashboards, that’s only 20% of your cost and effort," Forrester says.

Forrester researcher also goes on to say  more effective use of BI tools can lead to more successful sales and marketing efforts. And the technology can also be used to motivate employees by creating performance management environments that reveal each worker’s productivity relative to his peers, stimulating healthy competition. "Not only does such information help workers make better decisions, it encourages them to to improve their standing in the organization."

Once you add a BI tool to an organization the bar is lifted as performance becomes transparent. Cockroaches, as many refer to them and some can be big ones, will always appear in the data as you lift the rocks in a BI implementation. They must be eliminated as they will undermine the value of the BI data and the worth of the tool. If a number is wrong or does not reconcile to another, in a BI environment it gets quickly challenged  As a result the organization ends up with higher quality at all levels.

Underestimating the data cleaning effort is folly and must seen as part cleaning things up that have also been previously hidden. Housekeeping to harmonize data is a constant process and part running the business and not a just a once off. But getting it focused and under managed control is critical and takes time. 

BI projects may well be constrained by data quality at first. But they get the issues in the open very fast and very well so they can be seen. The added cost of resolving then must be recognized and born, but the payback in the end is much higher too.

5 thoughts on “BI for data cleansing is high value

  1. Yes I agree totally with your comments above. Companies waste so much money and cause harm to the environment by not regularly cleansing their data. Data is one of our biggest assets, you wouldn’t drive around in your Ferrari or work in your high rise office block without getting it cleaned once in a while would you.

    Clean data means happy informed customers and less environmental impact to our planet.

    In my personal opinion it should be a legal/moral obligation to clean data regularly.

  2. @Chris Johnson

    Many thanks for your comment and your encouragement. Now I know you are reading I will try to lift the bar a bit more.

    I see your web site is all about the subject of data cleansing so as it is close in your heart and know you well and understand the issues.

    I also see there many commonplace needs that people struggle with, that you address with value based approaches n your products and services list and in your “How can we help? section.”

    Your tag too “On target marketing through data cleansing” got my attention and makes so much sense to me. I know it works and I endorse people liked you who do this work.
    You may have seen a quote from the Krungthai AXA CEO Mike Plaxton where he talks about how he is using his BI to motivate more to increase his market share. Like many he has suffered the pain of bad data and now revels in his new cleaned up state so he can now see the wood in the trees so to speak.

    “Having our up-to-date performance information on tap and in sync that we can trust and all share, means we can have very good conversations. And I can listen more to help them increase their momentum” – Mike Plaxton

    Yes clean data is all about getting business done and washed well, not the other way round.

    Well done Chris and thanks once again for your ongoing support.

  3. Cleaning up data and creating data warehouses is one the fastest growing endeavors in with quality Busines Analysts and Database skills still in very short supply. In tough global markets that have no respect for loyalty or traditional boundaries, the need to have consistent reliable and up-to-date data is now higher than ever.

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