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Thursday, November 6, 2008

Data Management & Corporate Meltdown

It is indeed a tough time for the whole world. There are many words floating in every one's lips "meltdown" , "job losses" , "market crash".I feel the very basis of the bottom falling out is a consequence of wrong decisions.

In my experience over the last decade working with the business data of multiple corporations, I have cringed at the quality of data being held in various business systems. You might be wondering what I am hitting it. Yes it is the dirty data which businesses work with on a day to day basis currently.

"Data is the blood of business", in spite of a myriad databases , technologies and fancy user designs, businesses still make do with an enormous load of bad data.

How does this affect business?

Imagine a customer seeking a housing loan from a finance company , the loan sanction team has to make the decision within say half an hour ....which has to be backed up by trustworthy data .... But the reality is something very different. In 90% of the cases, the employee in charge of making the loan sanction decision does not have the data in a shape to make the decision.

In the absence of creditable and trustworthy data, decisions are made based on "gut feel" , some vague data. Imagine several hundreds or thousands of wrong decisions, exposing the corporation to a set of toxic loans given to people who do not qualify.

So what's to be done now. It is high time for all companies to take a hard look at their data and analyse the " data life cycle"... i.e., analyze the data from birth to its death (archive)...
Everyone in the team has to be educated on the importance of data capture , is the existing system oriented to help the employee to capture data properly.

Now I am not asking the leadership to jump off their seats and invest in a set of software tools and create a massive program. The core leadership has to evolve a " data philosophy" aligned with the strategic direction their organization is poised .

There is a million mile journey for each organization in the " data management" journey...this is to urge senior leadership to start right away....

Well this is not an option but a clarion call for future survival.

More to come .....



  1. I do agree on this data issues;We face this acutely in our new venture in personal front for a Study Guidance initiative.

    The data should be made available in the right form for the Corportae to take a meaningful decisions;In US,the lapse happened is purely a deliberate factor-they got right data for eg.home loan sanction process or financial/investment banking data,but they bypassed the system & manipulated the system in such a way to "Please their economy".

    In India,it's agreed that all COrporate & Govt institutes must treat this data collection & data cleansing with much more advanced technologies available today(make best use of the Open source world,if they have econmic constraints) & must adhere to a strict Corporate governance in data handling.

    Thus they develope a better decision making capability using the various BI tools of their choice which are available in the market.This helps them the Organization to grow much stable over a longer period of time and establish a firm success.