Friday, June 6, 2008

Data Profiling and Big Brown

Big Brown is positioned to win the third leg of the Triple Crown this weekend. In many ways picking a winner for a big thoroughbred race is similar to planning for a data quality project. Now, stay with me on this one.

When making decision on projects, we need statistics and analysis. With horse racing, we have a nice report that is already compiled for us called the daily racing form. It contains just about all the analysis we need to make a decision. With data intensive projects, you’ve got to do the analysis up front in order to win. We use data profiling tools to gather a wide array of metrics in order to make reasonable decisions. Like in our daily racing form, we look for anomalies, trends, and ways to cash in.

In data governance project planning, where there are company-wide projects abound, we may even have the opportunity to pick the projects that will deliver the highest return on investment. It’s similar to picking a winner at 10:1 odds. We may decide to bet our strategy on a big winner and when that horse comes in, we’ll win big for our company.

Now needless to say, neither the daily racing form nor the results of data profiling are completely infallible. For example, Big Brown’s quarter crack in his hoof is something that doesn’t show up in the data. Will it play a factor? Does newcomer Casino Drive, for whom there is very little data available, have a chance to disrupt our Big Brown project? In data intensive projects, we must communicate, bring in business users to understand processes, study and prepare contingency plans in order to mitigate risks from the unknown.

So, Big Brown is positioned to win the Triple Crown this weekend. Are you positioned to win on your next data intensive IT project? You can better your chances by using the daily racing form for data governance – a data profiling tool.

1 comment:

Steve Sarsfield said...

Occasionally, your hero gets pulled up and a 38:1 long shot comes in and wins the whole thing. Congrats Da' Tara.

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are my own and don't necessarily reflect the opinion of my employer. The material written here is copyright (c) 2010 by Steve Sarsfield. To request permission to reuse, please e-mail me.