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Do this before the end of the year to improve your data in 2021

And if you missed that time, then do it now!

Image from Pixabay

Six months ago, I wrote about Data Quality Logs - the single most useful data activity you can do without spending money.

If you didn't read it, then you should. Here's the link - then come back here afterwards.

Now there is not long to go before the end of another year. The temptation is to finish the urgent work and leave the rest for 2021, but some smart actions now will help you to make a more effective start in January.

Review your issue log

You've been collecting data issues for a while now. Some of them you were able to resolve quickly; others took a little more time; others are still hanging around. Give the log a review before you finish the year.

  • There will be items which you have already solved, so take the credit and close them down.
  • Other items may no longer be relevant. Perhaps the system it relates to has been retired; or the issue was resolved by some other activity. Close them as well, with some appropriate commentary.
  • Some items will have been there for months, with no sign of progress. This is often because the issue has been described too broadly and only a major project or programme will resolve them. Consider how you could break this up into smaller activities which you are more likely to deliver. Trello gave this a name - microproductivity
  • What about the issues that are flagged as "on hold". The ones with a due date a year away? It often feels sensible to do this, whilst waiting for another activity to deliver or to complete. The catch is that events happen during that long time period, by which time the issue - or the reason for waiting - have moved on. Review these are make sure that the planned activities and dates are still reasonable.

When that's done, you will have:

  • More data issues resolved
  • Fewer remaining issues to deal with
  • Some remaining issues which are far more achievable.

Who wouldn't want that?

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