Having properly structured and accurate data is vitally important to the business

Having properly structured and accurate data is vitally important to the business processes of any organization. When you are trying to draw conclusions based off the data that you have, people need good data to make these decisions. Trying to make a decision on faulty, incomplete, and/or unorganized data can result in incorrect guidance that can take an organization down the wrong path. If the data isn’t in the right place or all in one place, factoring in the data flow and data integrity are important things to consider as well. Data that doesn’t get put back together correctly can be just as useless as bad data.

My wife is going through this now at her job. When she took her promotion in her HR department, she was tasked with handling the out-processing and exit surveys for employees that were leaving. The previous person who was handling the task was reporting the results of exit surveys to their weekly HR meetings based on what she remembered reading. The first thing my wife did was create a grading system that showed how the separating employees felt about various topics and she records the responses on an excel with a few other metrics. When she reports why people are leaving, she can back her answers up with data now as opposed to saying what she thinks the problems are. By analyzing what the company received low scores on, they started working on an actionable plan to adjust their weak areas to increase retention. If they had gone off the previous woman’s gut or memory, they could have been missing real problems and wasting effort.

In that case you are provided an example of the second part of the prompt pertaining to how business processes can be dependent on the data. When the company was presented with measurable, verifiable data they were confident enough to go out and plan a change to fix an issue. They were never comfortable making a change based on the previous reports because it was “bad” data.