Grand Designs for Data Quality

I was watching a repeat of one of my favourite television programs the other night – Grand Designs. If you are not familiar with this show you should be!

 Kevin McCloud was talking to a very likeable Irishman about the his budget for restoring a derelict lifeboat station and creating a fantastic home. The conversation went something like this:-

Kevin – “So what is your budget?”

Irishman – “Somewhere between alot and an awful lot”

Kevin – “For a new build you can be quite accurate. Say ¬£1000 per square metre. But this isn’t a new build. Its a restoration and that makes it much more difficult”

Irishman – “Thats right. So far the building has thrown up so many unexpected problems that we just could not have anticipated”

This made me think about the budgeting issues around many data quality initiatives. So often we are dealing with legacy systems and legacy data (old buildings in need of restoration). You can have little idea what issues you are going to encounter until you start to strip back the paint, check the foundations and pull up the floor boards.

Kevin – “So why embark on such a project when you have no idea what it’s going to cost?”

Irishman – “Because we really wanted to do it. Life is short and we don’t want to look back on a missed opportunity”.

There is a lesson for us all.

What a guy.


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