The Customer perspective on Information Quality

A short post today. I promise.

Yesterday’s Dilbert made me laugh. As a telco guy I’m familiar with the lengths my industry will go to to create complicated contracts that can ‘obscure’ the total cost of a phone package. It was nice to see that getting a character all to itself in Dilbert.

But what made me laugh most of all was the number of root causes of Information Quality problems which are mentioned in just two boxes of this strip:
Dilbert (c) Scott Adams, 19th April 2009
  1. Unlabelled strings of code – this is DATA, not INFORMATION because it lacks CONTEXT to make it ACTIONABLE
  2. Web forms or applications not designed to make sense with the information requested (fields too short for the code).
  3. Letters looking like numbers (and vice versa).

If your customer can’t complete a rebate process due to any of the above issues (or similar), then your information quality focus is wrong (or non-existent) and your customers will go elsewhere eventually.

Wooing price sensitive customers (and aren’t we all these days?) with rebates or discounts but then having processes which fail to successfully operate due to poor quality planning for quality information and quality outcomes means that any competitor who comes close to you on price but can make the customer experience easier and more transparent is likely to win business from you.

Begin with the end in mind. Isn’t the end you want a happy customer who will buy again from your company (and maybe refer their friends to you)?

1 thought on “The Customer perspective on Information Quality”

  1. Nice post Daragh,

    It always frustrates me when companies don’t understand the IDQ adage: “Data is Quantitative, Information is Qualitative.”

    Data is collected and simply having it doesn’t mean you have quality data.

    Information is interpreted and without quality processes in place, your interpretation will not necessarily lead to a quality decision.

    By the way, I always buy whatever The DOBlog is selling and happily refer all my friends (and not just the imaginary ones).

    Best Regards…


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