On Data Responsibility (And Cleanliness)

Why do we actually need to clean and be responsible with our data?

In my last post, I talk about why the cloud is so great for data

From unlimited (and versatile) storage capabilities, to global availability and powerful analytics options – the cloud and data are a match made in heaven. Full stop. 

But it’s important to talk about why it makes data shine best when it’s clean.

Keeping Your Data Clean

You can put all of your data on the cloud, but the minute you want to start reporting and making business decisions based on that data, you have to be fully aware of whether or not your data is as clean and accessible as possible. 

If you’ve got information that isn’t relevant, isn’t accurate, or requires a bit of cleaning – it might skew a decision. 

You might end up buying stock that sold once based on a very small factor, simply  because you didn’t clean the data before presenting it to these powerful analytics tools. 

The same tools that help you make large decisions.

It’s the typical broken-telephone syndrome. The message gets lost along the way and the final output has no resemblance to the original idea.

Now the same thing can happen to our data as we read it through these tools.

So we need to clean our data, right?

And that’s where it becomes a bit more specialised.

That’s why we get heroes like data engineers and data analysts working in our environments. They help clean up bad data and give our tooling the best opportunity to present accurate information that helps us make great decisions based on the right information.

Now, it doesn’t mean that the data that you’re cleaning isn’t invaluable.

It is. It might be valuable in a certain way.

But if we want to start tailoring analytics for a specific solution, we need to clean our data and give it the stuff that it really needs to work with.

It’s as simple as: What you put in, is what you’re going to get out.

If you put inaccurate data in, you’re going to get inaccurate information out. Opening you to the risk of making potentially bad decisions in your business.

Why Is It Important to be Responsible with Data?

Data is the new gold.

Every threat-acting group is trying to get hold of company, corporate, and even government data. And that’s because it helps them commit crimes, or understand potential targets in new ways. 

This means that you’re dealing with personal information that could have a negative impact on individual lives if it lands up in the wrong hands (identity fraud, etc.). 

There’s also corporate and even government data which could be used in very nefarious ways by criminals that could affect entire countries and put an entire economy at risk.

That is why we need to be responsible with data.

And if you are not sure about what certain data might mean, go and speak to the technical people in your organisation. Go and speak to your governance people.

They’ll be able to tell you what is responsible and what is potentially borderline irresponsible with that data.

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