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Data Errors Disrupt Corporate Goals & Business

by Jodee Hale-Schmid

October 19, 2010

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Authored by Doug Jones, VP, Utopia, Inc.

And there it was this week in the news:

“Data issues have caused Bank of America Corporation (NYSE:BAC) to freeze foreclosures in 50 states. Worries have developed which suggest that faulty data may be being used to decide the fate of houses, and may be causing some people to be evicted without merit.”

Yet another example of corporate goals and business being disrupted by data errors. Surely actuaries are already calculating the millions of dollars each hour this is causing Bank of America – why? Data.

Or another unfortunate, yet not too rare headline from a month ago:

“Bret Schundler, who was fired Friday as education commissioner, said he learned Monday that he personally made the budget data error that helped the state miss out on a $400 million federal grant for school reform.”

Surely these could be simple data errors, business process errors, pulling data from the wrong tables and not realizing the transformations rules already applied to a column, a row, a field, etc…

These simple illustrations are how data stewards, data evangelists, and data architects need to keep pushing from within their corporate dynamics to keep data management on the front burner. No – it’s not the insurance salesmen in your house with pictures of b urned homes and fatalities approach – but rather a thoughtful reminder that data governance, data management do in fact have real world implications and need to be adhered to in all of our corporate IT projects and held as a basic standard for initiatives.

So what examples or headlines do you have? Any specific examples you can share? Let’s make this a fun list of ways data has cost businesses in some fashion or another. Who has a good one? I’m sure we can all benefit from another good example or two!

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