How is Your Data Quality

As a long-time data professional, I am pleased to see that companies have put a much greater focus on the quality of their corporate data assets in recent years. As everyone rushes to herald data as their #1 corporate asset, it is important to realize that the collection, transformation, and publication of flawed data can have far-reaching negative impacts.

IBM estimates that the yearly cost of poor quality data in the United States in 2016 alone was $3.1 trillion. Do I have your attention now? Decisions made based on inaccurate or mischaracterized data can negatively impact your corporate operations, profitability, and other key processes.

Laws and regulations protecting PHI and PII are now common place and companies go to great lengths to mask and encrypt this type of data. But how do you know if one of your source systems is embedding a credit card number or a social security number in a text field or is using it as an unencrypted primary key? The answer is, you probably don’t. So, what can you do about it?

Start the Conversation

A great starting point is socializing the concept of a data quality program with your co-workers in both the IT and business organizations. Begin asking questions about your data by reaching out to those who deal with production issues on a daily basis. Talk with your chief information security officer and ask him/her what concerns they might have with the cleanliness of your corporate data. Talk to peers in your industry and ask them what successes and failures they might be experiencing in the context of their corporate data. Do some research and get people talking.

Commit to Quality

It is imperative that a data quality initiative have the full support of key stakeholders who are committed to the long-term results. While an initiative of this type may start out as a project, it is important to Continue reading

Implementing An Internal Software Development Project In A Technology Consulting Firm (aka EATING YOUR OWN DOGFOOD!)

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 Part One

 “The task of the software development team is to engineer the illusion of simplicity” – Grady Booch

At Pinnacle, we are blessed with a population of senior technologists well versed in a multitude of modern development languages, approaches, frameworks, tools, apps and processes. Each of these elements are honed daily in the various customer environments we are actively engaged in. From time to time, we ask members of the organization to contribute to internal efforts that make life easier for all parties. We are currently in the midst of one of those times.

Like any project we perform for customers, we work with the team to understand the requirement and disseminate information and access pertinent to what we are looking to achieve. The next step is where it gets interesting. We tend to have options that more traditional businesses may not in choosing the technologies in which to construct our solution. We have partnerships with certain technology providers that minimizes our investment costs. And we have strong opinions on the most viable technology stack to use to solve this problem. In a recent LinkedIn post (http://tinyurl.com/heflt83), I wrote that one reason technology has gotten harder is due to Continue reading

Takeaways from The Phoenix Project

Pinnacle’s Business Developer Manager, Jeff Noffsinger, wrote a fantastic review of the book The Phoenix Project. Here is his book report on LinkedIn: 9 Takeaways from The Phoenix Project

The Phoenix Project has been on my to-read list for awhile and now I’m even more intrigued. It tells the story of a fictional IT shop with real-world problems. Jeff’s article identifies 9 takeaways from the protagonist’s journey that are applicable to almost any IT organization Continue reading