Matt Ahlers asks the above pertinent question and stresses the importance of asking it before taking action.
Is it “Yes” or “Mostly Yes”? One way to tell is if you hesitate to re-validate all of your information before taking a leap or if you fail to act based on data presented. At best, this slows down decision making and at worst, it completely negates the value of collecting, storing, and organizing data in the first place.
The importance of trusting your data and why “mostly yes” is dangerous
In the Navy, I was trained to trust key indications to ensure safe operation of a nuclear reactor. Specific indicators triggered alarms and those alarms required immediate actions. Other decisions afforded more opportunity to respond, but still relied upon trusting and validating the indications that were reported. The same principals apply to data stored in your core datasets that is used to drive business decisions.
For core datasets, “mostly yes” falls far short of what is necessary to drive a data driven business. “Trust me” is a phrase you hear when you’re being asked to go against your intuition or gut. It often involves taking a risk and exposing yourself to potential harm. Sometimes emerging trends (and threats) will present themselves in data before they’re generally well known or accepted. An industry maxim may start to bend and your attuned competitors will have a competitive advantage if you fail to detect a leading signal.
Why should you trust your data?
The reason why I trusted my reactor plant indicators was because we performed regular checks on our sensors to ensure they were working properly. Without this we would be operating blind. The same applies to your data systems. Consistently ensuring that data is created, stored, and maintained falls under the realm of data stewardship. Looking to ensure that information matches what is expected should be part of your common business practices.
Key points include:
- Trusting your data
- Data stewardship in your organization
- Building the ecosystem
Read the full article, Do You Trust Your Data, on 760.blue.