Business Processes and Data Quality: Dirty Data Leads to Process Issues

April 21, 2011 No Comments

Quality processes begin with quality data.  That’s the premise behind a Forrester report by Rob Karel and Clay Richardson.  The growing volumes of data that organizations are managing coupled with rapid change mean that in order to ensure quality processes, the data that those processes rely on must be cleansed and up-to-date to ensure the high quality of the process.  The quality of a business decision is often based on data captured and processed by data warehousing and business intelligence systems.

Often business processes and data governance are handled by different teams, each having different goals and objectives, and that can lead to a problem.  Typically data governance is led by a group within IT, while processes are directed from groups on the business side of the organization.  The Forrester report lays the blame for the problem on both business and IT.  IT is responsible to providing data models and architecture to hold the data; but IT also needs to be able to communicate and evangelize to the business side how to bring data into the system and how to best use the system.  Communication is often where problems occur, and the report notes that the role of educator often should fall on the shoulders of IT, but the task is often overlooked.

Staff members on the business side are needed to identify and make sure that data is correctly entered and kept current, and without adequate  discipline this is where the business side often slips up.  All parts of the organization need to be aware of data and data quality — only when this recognition is in place can the capture and maintenance of quality data be realized.

Forrester’s Rob Karel commented that “Data and process are inextricably linked — you need to trust your data to ensure the effective adoption and implementation of defined business processes and insights. Yet most process and data governance efforts are siloed and disconnected…  For data governance and process governance efforts to be successful, they both must frame their priorities and business value in the context of which business processes they are aiming to improve, transform and optimize.”

Forrester invented the term “process data government” to refer to the close relationship and connections that need to be managed between business process management and data governance systems.  Most BPM systems today lack tools to handle process data government.  BPM systems do not yet adequately address the analysis of the relationship between data and process.

Read More of Dick Weisinger’s Blog Post

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