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Why Data Quality Matters for Business Success

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Aakash Indurkhya
Aakash Indurkhya
Aakash Indurkhya is the Co-Head of AI at Virtualitics. He manages the development of AI tools and solutions for clients and Virtualitics products and holds several patents for the innovative capabilities of the Virtualitics AI Platform.

Discover the importance of high-quality data in decision-making and learn strategies to enhance data quality for better business performance.

Good data is worth its weight in gold. With data-driven decision-making now the best competitive advantage a company can have, many business leaders realize that the quantity of data doesn’t trump its quality

Clean, high-quality data is essential to making accurate and well-informed decisions. The higher the quality of your data, the easier it is to avoid decision paralysis. Often, when you have an abundance of information, the conflicts in the data are more apparent, making it difficult to find the right options. As data quality improves, so does decision-making.  

Many factors impact data quality, such as data collection methods, storage, and integration. Any flaws in these processes can impact the data’s completeness, consistency, reliability, and relevance, leading to misguided decisions and, ultimately, a negative hit to business performance. This is why companies must prioritize implementing the right strategies for enhancing their data quality.

The Cost of Poor Data Quality

Companies produce an unfathomable amount of data daily. Often, in the rush to collect and analyze this wealth of information, business leaders underestimate the detrimental impact of poor data quality. 

Inaccurate data misinforms decisions, leading to expensive mistakes and missed opportunities. For example, a manufacturer operating with flawed equipment data might pull a machine for maintenance before it’s necessary, leading to delays in production or unnecessary overtime, which can hurt profitability. 

Another consequence of unreliable data is that it undermines leaders’ trust in analytics, making them less likely to take action on insights from it and more likely to rely on intuition or anecdotal evidence to make important business decisions.

Prioritize Data Quality By Using It Every Day

Because of the sheer volume of data in a company, waiting until all of it has gone through a quality assurance process isn’t feasible. Business decisions still need to be made every day, which is why it’s actually by using data in your daily business practices that your organization will establish the right data quality and integrity processes. 

Here are three ways to accomplish this:

Spend More Time with Your Data

Getting better quality data is not a one-time effort but an ongoing process that requires dedicated time and attention. This means spending more time working directly with data, which will help analysts and stakeholders more readily identify inaccuracies and inconsistencies. Once the low-quality dataset is identified, it can be prioritized for cleansing and measures can be implemented to ensure that the dataset is accurate from that point on.

Implement Good Data Governance

The foundation of good data quality is using good data governance practices in the course of your work. This means establishing standardized processes for data assessment and management then enforcing policies that ensure data integrity and security. Technology, like Explainable AI (XAI), also enables higher data standards by helping analysts trace decisions back to the data that was used, making it easier to determine whether it is of high or low quality.

With effective governance plans and technology in place, data workflows become more streamlined and consistent across your organization’s data ecosystem, leading to fewer mistakes and flaws. 

Be Relentless About Documentation

Another aspect of data governance is a rock-solid documentation process. Comprehensive documentation should encompass data lineage, data definitions, and business rules around the storage, collection, integration, and use of data. When documentation is created and followed on a daily basis it provides everyone with a clear, current roadmap for understanding and utilizing data effectively throughout the business.

Also Read: How Data Drives Eco-Friendly Practices in Travel and Hospitality

Establish a Culture of Data Excellence

By making data quality an everyday practice, companies can get the most out of their data assets, make better strategic decisions, and thrive in today’s marketplace. High-quality data is a given in a data-literate business culture, which is why continuous education and training in this area is a wise investment for all organizations. 

When companies have the skills and tools necessary to interpret, validate, and manipulate data accurately, and when every data consumer understands the importance of data quality and how to discern reliable information from unreliable sources, businesses can ensure they have the best chance of success.

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