A Business Value-Driven Approach to Data Quality
The last session that I wanted to write about was titled, “A Business Value-Driven Approach to Data Quality” and was presented by Richard Trapp from Avaya. For those of you don’t know of Avaya (I suspect most of you do, as you probably have one of their phones sitting right next to you), they were spun off from Lucent and are now a leading business communications technology provider. Richard started the DQ program at Avaya and went about doing it in a very unique way — every effort he makes is focused on the trackable dollar value it brings back to the business.
Richard probably has one of the larger data quality groups you’ve likely encountered, currently at 23 employees (consultants + FTEs), and thinks he could handle more. Richard receives no funding, instead he is on a chargeback basis, and the return on his projects to date has been an amazing 700%! Richard has tracked the business benefits of what he does very well, and the dollar amount benefits of what his team has done is over $70M in revenue. These aren’t small numbers!
The key I got out of this presentation is to center everything around the benefits. Talk about a powerful position you put yourself in when you can talk to the executives in terms of how much revenue you are responsible for! His tips are to have a team that has analytical skills, finance and accounting skills, tech skills, etc. Make sure their talents are diverse. He said that anybody can learn the needed technical stuff (he has a management, not data, background), so focus on building a team that is competent and well-rounded.
In an interesting side note, Avaya was recently purchased by two private equity firms for $8.2 Billion. In one of my recent data governance article roundups I posted an article by Philip Howard that stressed that a company looking to be acquired should really have their data management under control. Who knows if data played a role in this acquisition, but as you can tell from my writeup, Avaya really does have theirs under control.