While the whole is more than the sum of its parts, it will always be as bad as the weakest link.
When you rig up a home audio system what you listen to is a careful mix of each part that starts with the source (you know, the actual CD, LP, or MP3) and ends with the speaker. Typical advice goes that you should pay at the same tier for each. When you reach the top tier, even the cables matter.
Old sayings still apply
Data in an organization is very much the same. The old adage of “junk in, junk out” doesn’t begin to cover it.
You have so many inputs for data these days that the old quality check systems don’t cut it alone either. While the tools for deduping (and other data cleansing products) are getting better, they can’t replace human know-how.
People are prone to error, so your data entry systems have to proactively ensure you’re getting the best quality in. This might mean customized forms layered over databases, but it’s worth it.
Don’t forget the output is equally human-sensitive. Follow Avinash’s rule of 9:1 spending on analysts to systems/tools and you’ll probably be ok.
What are the barriers to your data hygiene?