Data as a Competitive Necessity

I Have a Dream

When I started Mass Street Analytics, I had a dream. My dream was that I was going to go out into the world and fix all the problems I had seen in my career up to that point. This includes data quality problems, process problems, engineering problems, and data product delivery problems. Crappy data was the disease and I was the cure. One day, every organization everywhere was going to have pure, clean data as reliable as the water from your tap.
I am happy to report that I am making an impact where I can. My ability to effect change is 100% correlated with an organization's leadership and cultural attitude surrounding data. Sadly, organizations that realize the importance of their data beyond historical reporting are still the exception not the norm.
I understand that there are significant challenges with implementing change in large organizations. There are financial costs associated. There are risks in terms of any new systems not, at a minimum, doing what the old systems did and outages due to switching systems. Stakeholders can be heavily invested in previous IT spend (because they did not go to B-school and learn that sunk cost should not be taken into account when making decisions about the future!). There can be deeply entrenched executives with hidebound thinking. There might be creaking IT infrastructure that is not able to handle the latest and greatest.
All of these are huge challenges, but, every single one of them can be overcome by someone in power making the conscious decision to put data at the forefront as part of an organization's long-term strategy as opposed to merely supporting it.