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

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

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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

Department:

Marketing

Aim:

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

Who:

Marketing Manager

Web Master

Outcome:

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!

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Or

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

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http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newTMC_03.htm

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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