Identify, Cure, Care (ICC), Where to Start!

Following on from my February blog on the method for managing your data: 


Identify, Cure, Care

A 3 step process for turning your business data into a valuable and reliable business asset:

  • Identifying issues
  • Curing those issues reducing the chance of the same issue reoccurring
  • Caring for your data to keep it in a certain state to benefit the organisation

Here I provide advice on starting out on the journey to creating value from your data.

Step 1 – Identify

Where are the problems/issues within the business?  Who is complaining? Where is the noise coming from?  Consider this coming from both internally and externally areas.

From my experience it is:

  • Customers not being provided with accurate up-to-date data 
  • Logistics not receiving accurate data to manage storage space in distribution centres or correct information to effectively manage space on delivery vehicles
  • Finance not being advised of any changes in product reporting structures
  • Marketing not having access to or being aware of all information available to present on websites
  • Information being misinterpreted when presented on the website

It could be in many more areas and may not be immediately obvious that poor data is causing the problem. 

A lot of questions need to be asked to ascertain; what the problem is, tracking where the problem originated, with whom, when and how. 

Don’t try to boil the ocean!

Choose a problem area to investigate.  If you already have a Governance Council gain their support or input on which area should be allocated resource for investigations to begin.  They may already have a list of priority areas otherwise make suggestions for where to begin.

No Governance Council – No Problem!

If you do not have a council, work with your senior sponsor to prioritise the area to be investigated.

Have an initial plan of what you want to achieve, who you need to speak with & time which will be allocated to the task and most importantly gain the buy-in from the manager of the department you wish to investigate.

Sample Plan




To understand why inconsistent product descriptions are shown on the website from the same products which only differ by colour

Time scale:

1 week initial study


Marketing Manager

Web Master


Steps and time scales to resolve inconsistencies in data


How to investigate the problem

A couple of suggested ways of investigating your issues are.

Data Map – to map the data movements around the business:

…and no, you are not suppose to be able to read this example!



Cause and effect analysis(Also known as Cause and Effect Diagrams, Fishbone Diagrams, Ishikawa Diagrams, Herringbone Diagrams, and Fishikawa Diagrams.)


I will leave you to identify the area to start investigation and provide you with the next step of what to do with your issues next month.  

Over the coming months I will walk you through how I took a multi-billion dollar global corporation from having poor data and lots of customer complaints to building a reputation for the best quality data in the industry.




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