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A Simple Template For Crafting Your Data Quality Story

Data Quality Story Telling Is A Critical Skill To Possess

Data Quality Story Telling Is A Critical Skill To Possess

Are you involved with Data Quality?


At some point you’re going to have to explain the benefits of what it is you and your colleagues deliver, often in a casual, informal setting.

It’s often hard enough getting this across to your sponsors and internal customers let alone entirely new business heads and disparate operational workers that you run into on a daily basis.

The easiest way to promote data quality to anyone in your organisation I’ve found is via story-telling. We all too often get bogged down in technicalities and definitions but stories help us with a simple structure that everyone on the planet is accustomed to. For the listener they’re also far more likely to remember a story than any other medium.

So how do you create a data quality story that gets your message across?


Essentially there are 5 points to consider in your story that you have to convey smoothly and succinctly.

  1. What’s the problem caused by poor data quality?
  2. Why hasn’t the problem been solved until now?
  3. What’s the possibility or benefit if that problem could be solved?
  4. What’s different as a result of what your team delivers?
  5. What should they do next?
Expert Journal
How to successfully deliver a corporate data quality program - Sherry Michaels interview

What does it take to deliver a large, complex data quality initiative in a heavily regulated industry? How do you get senior leaders bought-in and data stewards empowered?

These are just some of insights shared by Sherry Michaels, currently Data Quality Program Manager for The Hartford, and a data quality leader for over a decade.

Sherry has 3 decades of insurance experience and talks openly about the practical techniques she has adopted to help mature data quality, data governance and data stewardship across her past projects.

ISO 8000 Update - Peter Benson Interview

I recently caught up with Peter Benson, project leader of ISO 8000 Data Quality and Executive Director of the Electronic Commerce Code Management Association (ECCMA).

Peter talks about the latest advances with ISO8000, its growth in both public and private sectors and how it can be practically deployed.

EU Data Protection Interview with Daragh O Brien

The new EU data protection regulations are causing quite a stir and will impact not just EU countries but also non-EU organisations.

Just what these impacts will be and how to prepare requires considerable planning so I caught up with data protection and data quality expert Daragh O Brien of Castlebridge Associates to find out more.

Launching a Data Governance Initiative for the First Time : Interview with Emma Fortnum

How do you create the momentum and strategy to launch a data governance initiative for the first time?

That is one of the core themes of this interview with Emma Fortnum, an Information Architect at Mitchells and Butlers, a leading UK based operator of restaurants and pubs in the UK.

Data Governance interview with Alan Duncan

How does data governance in academic organisations compare to commercial organisations? 

This is just one of many questions I recently put to the past Director of Data Governance for UNSW Australia and long-time data governance practitioner, Alan Duncan.

How to Improve Your Data Quality Assessment Process - featuring Laura Sebastian-Coleman

One of the outright experts on Data Quality Assessment is Laura Sebastian-Coleman, author of 'Measuring Data Quality for Ongoing Improvement : A Data Quality Assessment Framework'.

In this interview she goes into a huge amount of depth on how to improvement measurement and assessment during data quality projects, hope you find it useful.

Macro Data Quality: The Bigger Picture

Making sure that this data is of sufficient quality has thus become a key strategic consideration. Data Quality measurement, and subsequent remediation of bad data, is now a well established data discipline with standards, capable tooling and best practices.

Maturing Global Data Quality and Data Governance: Interview with Matt Smith of Covidien

How do you go about maturing data governance and data quality in a large, global organisation?

In this interview we hear from Matt Smith, Data Quality and Data Governance Manager at Covidien who has been helping his organisation grow data quality and governance capabilities whilst delivering tangible results.

How to Exploit Big Data and Maintain Data Quality, interview with Dave Borean, InfoTrellis

Big Data use cases are growing rapidly worldwide so what are some of the examples that are members are witnessing and how are they addressing the data quality aspects of Big Data?

These are just some of the questions I put to one of our sponsor members, Dave Borean of InfoTrellis recently. 

Big Data use cases are growing rapidly worldwide so what are some of the examples that are members are witnessing and how are they addressing the data quality aspects of Big Data?

These are just some of the questions I put to one of our sponsor members, Dave Borean of InfoTrellis recently. Dave is a veteran MDM and Data Quality expert with over 17 years of experience working on the architecture and development of mission-critical enterprise applications in both the product and custom solution spaces so is no stranger to the growth in Big Data projects.

Tech Briefing: Data Quality for the Business with Diaku Axon

In this tech briefing, we learned how Diaku Axon, a distinctive data governance-driven solution, brings context and understanding of how data quality affects the business by embedding a variety of data governance and data quality related functions within the business itself.

Example: Data Quality Story for Operational Performance Improvement in a Utilities Company

What's The Problem?

Right now in this company there are operational teams endlessly resolving the symptoms of poor data quality. They’re taking longer to perform basic maintenance because the data is incomplete. They’re being pulled from critical work to deal with customer complaints because bills are inaccurate. Management are continually frustrated because bad data is creating indecision with financing, resourcing and performance management.

Why No Solution?


Historically we’ve mopped up these issues in a tactical, reactive way by using some of our most critical staff to put out fires. No-one would argue that this has been delivered with no real strategy for eliminating the root causes.

Remember the film Groundhog Day? It’s like that. The same problems being played out month after month.

What’s the possibility?

The obvious question is: "What if we could eliminate the root causes of these events and implement long-term improvements so that our teams do far more value added work instead of endless firefighting?” 

We would save money, raise morale and delight more customers more of the time, right?

What’s different now?

We’ve got an executive mandate to support all areas of the business that are feeling the pain of poor data quality and are no longer prepared to waste their time and resources firefighting the same issues time and time again. We come from all areas of the business so have deep operational knowledge but also adopt the latest data quality methods and technologies to actively implement long-term improvements with a clear ROI.

What next?


If you want to find out more we have an internal website and resource centre that explains the work we do, the results we deliver and how you can get involved.

Craft Your Own Data Quality Story


You can trim this story any way you see fit or even adopt a different story format but the key is having a simple structure to your introductions so you make it easier to create a lasting impression.

Another tip is that you often don’t have chance to spin your story so why not give people a business card with a link that explains what you do. 

Data Quality Storytelling Resources


One great tool I’ve found for telling your story is 

but there are lots of others like 

Unleash the hidden storyteller and come back to share your creation.

Dylan Jones, founder of Data Quality Pro

Dylan Jones, founder of Data Quality Pro

Dylan Jones is the founder and editor of Data Quality Pro.

He lives in Stratford-upon-Avon, England and has been helping companies tackle data quality for far more years than he wishes to remember.

If you want to reach out and connect with him simply email or connect via twitter @dataqualitypro