Someone asked me recently what I felt was the most underutilized data quality skill and I surprised them when I said “Marketing”.
The reason for this is that many great data quality initiatives and teams fail to build on their success because they don’t market the benefits they bring to the business. All of their efforts and abilities can be wasted in an instant when a sudden leadership change fails to recognize the unique proposition they bring to the organization.
For a lot of professionals marketing is an alien territory. They feel that if they’re work is valued then surely word will spread and the demand for data quality management across the organization will increase.
Sadly, if you build it then executive sponsors will not necessarily come. You need to get your message out there consistently and tailor it to the different segments of your audience.
These segments may include:
- Executive leadership
- Line management
- Co-workers and peers
- Front-line knowledge workers and field workers
Of this audience, the most important are clearly the management layer. That’s not intended as a detriment to front-line workers but ultimately its management who dictate whether your data quality goals will be achieved.
How can business analytics support data quality marketing efforts?
The key is transparency. By creating a business analytics “wrapper” around the data quality work you’re undertaking you can start to track the benefits of your improvements. Managers can receive dashboards, reports and communications about the business benefits your data quality efforts are delivering.
Another benefit is that business analytics provides something of an independent viewpoint and this helps to provide trust. You can tell everyone that you’re delivering value but for marketing to really work it requires cold hard facts. Business analytics gives you this and in a medium that senior management are all too familiar with.