A recent trip to a supermarket in Telluride, Colorado struck me as a funny place to find an analogy for data quality, but there it was. You see, supermarkets here require you to bring your own bags to cart your groceries home. Those brown disposable plastic bags are banned here – the town has made a firm commitment to the philosophy of Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. By adhering to this environmental philosophy, data integration teams can develop and deploy successful data quality strategies across the enterprise despite the constraints of today’s “do more with less” IT budgets.
In the decade that I’ve been in the Information Management space, I’ve noticed that success in data integration usually comes in small increments – typically on a project by project basis. However, by leveraging those small incremental successes and deploying them in a repeatable, consistent fashion – either as standardized rules sets or data services in a SOA – development teams can maximize their impact at the enterprise level.
In a recent post on the “23 Tips for Enterprise Data Quality Success”, Dylan Jones summarized an interview with Jay Zaidi, Enterprise Data Quality Program Lead for Fannie Mae. There are many good tips in that blog, but what stood out to me was the section on Centralizing Expertise and Leveraging Re-Use. I had the privilege of meeting and hearing Jay speak at Informatica World 2012 and he detailed how they responded to the recent (and current) financial crisis. By implementing Holistic Data Quality monitoring and controls, Fannie Mae now ensures the delivery of trusted data wherever and whenever it is needed. By creating data quality routines and reusing them consistently across their environment, Jay’s team is having a real and measurable impact on the quality of the information that Fannie Mae uses to run their business.
In this same vein of promoting the reuse of data quality best practices, Informatica recently released two PowerCenter Data Quality Starter Packs in the Informatica Marketplace: the PowerCenter Data Quality Starter Pack – Trial Edition (free download) and the PowerCenter Data Quality Starter Pack (for fee download). These data quality content packs are designed to help organizations reduce the amount of effort it takes to establish data quality best practices and facilitate the reuse of from one project to the next. The Informatica PowerCenter Data Quality Starter Packs are easy to use collections of data quality assets that can be deployed directly in existing PowerCenter environments. Leveraging data quality best practices, PowerCenter developers can now deploy sample parsing, enrichment and standardization routines directly into their existing jobs without requiring additional software.
So, I encourage you to go to the Informatica Marketplace and take advantage of these Data Quality Starter Packs or some of the other content packs available there. The Marketplace is a great resource for pre-built content that users can deploy immediately and reduce the amount of effort it takes to see the benefits of robust data quality. Additionally, the routines represent some best practices that users can reuse across their environment to consistently turn data into valuable information. And, development teams can recycle these best practices from one project to the next to have an enterprise-wide impact on the quality of information used to run their business.