As a consultant, it isn't very
often I get to spend much time with end-users - the ultimate audience for most
digital solutions projects. They are busy, often distracted and usually
suspicious of why a third-party is poking around their work processes. I might
get a few time-limited interviews on specific questions and requirements
gathering, but it doesn't often get beyond that.
Usually, the sponsors are in the
IT department and give a good picture of what is going on technically, with the
computing infrastructure, with the applications and the support perspective.
But that is only one side of the story.
One of the subjects I am always
interested in is the adoption of technology. The long-term success rate in many
industries is not very high, but the problem is rarely due to technical issues.
New technologies work, so why don't we want to use them?
While there are well-documented
challenges in introduction and adoption methods for new technologies, one silent-but-deadly
killer is the lack of trusted data. One of the biggest and most obvious
symptoms is to find that critical data is missing or incorrect. Like a
slow-moving cancer, the insidious data quality issues don't take long to
surface leading to users "self-treating" with spreadsheets.
But if data quality is that poor,
why aren't the business users speaking up and demanding better support? From my
experience, there are a few reasons companies are content to allow serious data
quality problems to persist and why there isn't a user revolt.
Continue reading "Suffering in Silence" »