E-MAILBAG: More problems for older workers

From the IT World Canada comment board: our readers’ reaction, unedited and unvarnished.
Re: Old data quality models are ‘so nineties’: Prof

By Kathleen Lau
Measuring the impact of IT and data quality and data governance is not new. The challenge has been coming up with measures for costs to improve data and measures to assess the impact. Others have published articles on this subject before but the examples are anecdotal or they describe a single instance of a data error such as someone keying in a wrong value as indicative of a pervasive problem or give the impression that a data quality improvement program could have prevented the error from occurring. Trying to assess the value of information is also very elusive. Ignoring the fact that this study was sponsored by a commercial organization there appears to be an attempt to embellish the results with terms like “dramatic” improvement. In addition I could find no substantiation for statements such as “The cost of increasing effective data is relatively minor compared to the resulting substantial returns.” This assumes there is no cost to increasing effective data. Or this statement “In an era of hyper-competition where every enterprise is jockeying for position to remain competitive and profitable, investing in better data still appears to be a low-hanging fruit.”. Yes there are examples of low hanging fruit but organizations who have improved their data had to go much further than just addressing the low hanging fruit opportunities. I don’t understand this statement “Fortune 1000 business were to increase the mobility of its sales organization’s data by just 10% and the amount of capital is held constant, net income would increase by $5.4 million each year.” Does this imply that there is no additional capital required to improve the effectiveness of data?
What is difficult in justifying data quality and data governance projects is coming up with a defensible business case or ROI. I’m not sure this study helps achieve this goal.
— Richard Ordowich
In the long run ROI is a function of Operating profit and Invested capital. Leaving aside invested capital for a moment, operating profit depends mainly on EFFECTIVENESS (E) of processes. Process effectiveness has two components a)process QUALITY (what the process generates) and b) process PRODUCTIVITY (a function of what the process costs to conduct).
Quality and Productivity of processes are related by E = f(Q,P) – almost always an S-curve.
Given recent breakthroughs in communication technology by far, by far the greatest opportunity today for sustainable competitive advantage is to TRANSFORM MOBILE PROCESSES – and within those the Selling and Delivering of SERVICES such as CONSULTATIVE SELLING and FIELD ENGINEERING are the low-hanging fruit.
Now it’s time to think about the financial and other metrics! The metrics are the basis for setting of TOLERANCES on FUNCTIONAL REQUIREMENTS on PROCESSES.
AXIOMATIC DESIGN of processes is one answer – certainly not band-width and esoteric mobile devices.
— Brian Keedwell
By Dave Webb
Senior IT folks have yet another problem. Those that got caught in the recession and are now looking for another opportunity are being hit with a double whammy. Their technical skills have fallen behind because they’ve moved into management positions and had staff to do the down ‘n dirty tech work for them — they kept up only at the 30,000-foot level. I used to be an AIX administrator and an Oracle DBA – 10 years ago. I still have some low-level knowledge, but today’s job postings for even senior executives require “deep technical knowledge of …”. Do they want a strategic planner or a down ‘n dirty doer? What’s a greyhair to do? (Would you like fries with that?)
— Al Douglas
By Jennifer Kavur
It is a common fact that small business is the lifeblood of any capitalistic economy. Creating barriers of entry for the “little guy” only creates confusion, added costs, missed opportunities, and most importantly stifles international trade. Canada is known for its stable economy, wealthy consumers etc., and for all practical reasons should have a world leading extension. At the moment it does not, and will never have one unless these restrictions are lifted.
I agree with the logic behind CIRA, wanting to protect their own, but this could easily be compared to an overprotective mother. Instead of eliminating these restrictions all together why not try a local trustee/admin contact instead of a costly corporation?
Zak, I wish you the best of luck, and I support all of your efforts
— Jeffrey Gabriel


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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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