Shorts: UptimeJanuary 4, 2024
Shorts: Data is ForeverJanuary 18, 2024
By: Ralph Nikischer
Debt is something that is owed. We typically think of debt in terms of money, but it can be applied to many things, including data. Data debt is an accumulation of issues related to an organization’s data. When present, data debt prevents an organization from taking advantage of tools like artificial intelligence (AI) and making data-driven decisions.
In local government we find this debt across a variety of data sets. Think about the times you went looking for something only to find a problem:
- I can’t find an address in the system
- Contact information for this resident is outdated
- The permit for this property is nowhere to be found
Here are some things leaders can do to prevent and reverse data debt:
- Identify the problems: ask your team to report on the quality of your critical sets of data. In local government consider data related to properties, utilities, personnel, procurement, and public safety.
- Prioritize data quality: challenge your teams to fix issues by cleaning up existing data and establish systems like data governance to prevent future debt.
- Lead by example: demonstrate what is possible by using data to drive decisions and communicate how that decision was informed by good data.