tulips-bed-colorful-color-69776.jpegAt TRIMax this past fall, Ray Miciek gave a great talk on Data Management that really resonated with me…and hopefully some customers too… He took us on a trip down memory lane to all of his different moves; from when he first moved in with his wife, all the way to present day when they moved with 4 kids, and clearly a lot more stuff.

Data Migration Experience
Here is a slide showing Ray’s moving progression

As I listened to him compare moving to Data Migration, I reflected on my own recent experience moving, and realized I needed to get ahold of my own inventory just like I tell customers to do. So with spring around the corner, I decided to do some spring cleaning on my own data, and take similar steps we would follow with customers to cleanse, classify, and enrich their data.

How did I get here in the first place?

My experience mirrors a typical customer story. Each time I moved, I brought with me things I no longer needed and stuff that no longer fit in the new space. I would accumulate more thing which I would then take to the next house, and so on. (If I’m being completely honest… there are a number of boxes we never even unpacked from our previous move. I don’t even know what’s in those boxes at this point.)

Each time customers migrate their data from one system to another, combine data from multiple systems, or go through an upgrade, data quality can be negatively impacted and customers can end up with obsolete, incomplete, incorrect, inconsistent, or illogical data.

Lack of system control and multiple plants/sites are also contributing factors to bad data. I made the mistake of letting  my husband help with some of the packing, and not only was there no method to how he packed boxes, the only thing he wrote on the boxes was whether or not they should just go in storage. (Thanks honey!)

What do I do now?

I threw away all of the boxes I haven’t opened in over 3 years……. Ok that’s a lie…. But I did throw away or donate anything we no longer use or want. Once the junk was gone, I could start developing my Schema and Classification to organize and categorize what I have. From there I could move into my Cleansing phase, which is where customers would standardize their Master Data, eliminate duplicates, and create data uniformity. For me, that meant categorizing all of my things, getting all new storage bins, and standardizing how I document what is inside each bin.

The last stage is Enrichment. For a customer that means sourcing any missing data, but for me it just meant I needed to fill in what I was missing. For example, when I looked at my now classified and cleansed home inventory, I realized I did not have any air filters or light bulbs that worked in the new house, nor did I know what kinds I needed. So I figured out what kind of air filters and light bulbs I needed and went on a Target run to get some pretty hand towels, a great smelling candle, a couple dog bones, and some wine only air filters and light bulbs.

What is the value?

For me the value was pretty simple. When a few light bulbs went out in my kitchen last week, I knew I had the right inventory on hand to replace them. I spent no time with a dark kitchen, and I know exactly how many more bulbs I have left before I need to reorder. For customers, managing your data and improving data quality can have so many positive benefits on your organization including reduced down time (MTTR & MTBF), faster retrieval of parts, better spend management, and reduction of maverick purchases to name a few.

How to get started?

One of the other things I have learned from moving is that it always takes a lot longer and is usually a lot harder than you expect. Just like moving, managing and cleansing your data is something no one actually WANTS to do. Lucky for you, Aquitas offers a Master Data Management solution that can do it for you. Get started with a quick and easy Data Audit, where we will extract data from your system, run an analysis, and provide a report with insight into the quality of your data, scope for improvement, and a detailed action plan.

Don’t wait – contact us today to get started!

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