Posts Tagged Bad data
A fish rots from the head down. - Greek Proverb
Data quality is an issue in every organization. But there is a point in time, in my opinion, that data quality stops being the problem. This is when management implicitly or explicitly allows, facilitates or encourages bad data, employing wilful blindness or even conspiracy. This is what brought down Enron. This continues to play itself out to some extent in the world financial crisis.
Sometimes those in trouble attempt to fix data in their favour. This can be at a small scale when a line manager applies hand-picked statistics to back up a previously made decision. This can also be at a corporate or national scale where excessive debts are off-loaded into secret accounts to make balance sheets more palatable. But do not mistake these actions for poor data quality management or even bad BI. This is bad management, pure and simple.
The real danger here is that management might start believing their own lies, or worse yet, get everyone else to. Like a rogue financial advisor spinning a Ponsi scheme, this might work for awhile but a day of reckoning will come. Once lost, hard-earned trust can be gone for good.