Practical Tips for Retaining Data Quality Staff

Do you have a plan for data quality staff retention?

Do you have a plan for data quality staff retention?

How do you keep your data quality staff motivated enough to stay within your organisation?

In this article we present some techniques for attracting, retaining and advancing your valued data quality team members.

It’s a problem many companies face so let’s explore some of the issues and debate the solutions.


This article has arisen from a timely and interesting conversation with one of our members who leads the information services division of a US insurance firm. They have lost a star team member, a senior data quality analyst who had achieved great things within the organisation but has recently decided to move on to pastures new.

Getting Started – Welcome to the Data Quality Brick Wall

The problems with staffing your data quality function can really start at day 1. It can be incredibly difficult for organisations to find suitable team members to seed their project and get the initiative moving.

They’ve been to the board, got the finance, a green light from HR to recruit and then – nothing.

Agencies flood them with candidates (who are mostly unsuitable) and they can lose literally months of momentum as they struggle to find suitable hires.

Growing pains – Nurturing and Retaining Data Quality Staff

The next problem is that as staff join, gain experience and new skills, they inevitably look for new opportunities and challenges.

of the biggest areas lacking in my experience is a well defined career structure that can lead to further opportunities. Data quality teams often lack the structured career development found in more mature professions. If you are a software developer for example there is a fairly clear career path and this can often be found clearly documented in your terms of employment.

What Are The Right Conditions To Retain Your Data Quality team?

Here are some ideas, feel free to rip them apart or add your own suggestions:

How are you sustaining and growing your data quality team?


Release Responsibility

The most profound success I’ve had in data quality over 18 years was in training a group of low skilled data entry workers and giving them responsibilities far beyond their expectations, subsequently none of them quit and all went on to senior roles, staying with the company for many years

Create a Data Quality Career Structure

Think about the natural progression of your staff. If they are a junior data analyst, what will they need to grow into the role of a data quality analyst? What will a data quality analyst need to learn in order to develop into a data quality team leader? How are you creating a career structure for data quality in your organisation.

Reward Them

This doesn't have to be financial. Julian Schwarzenbach touched on this with the excellent: Do your Data Quality Heroes know who they are?

We all need to feel valued and recognised for the work we do. Data quality can often be a thankless job, investing our time and energy in an asset that is often undervalued. How are you incentivising your data quality team with personal achievement awards and other recognitions?


Got any other suggestions why not add in the comments below?