Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Information quality; information integrity

In the early 21st century when the 4th edition to the PMBOK was being designed for publication in the first decade, there was debate about adding "data quality" to Chapter 11, Risk Management. The idea behind data quality being to evaluate risk in the presence of not only uncertainty, but also to look at the impact of making risk-informed decisions in the presence of lousy data.

I'm extending "data" to "information" for this discussion. The working difference being that information is multiple data elements integrated, and that data integrated data set integrated with context.

And, also think of information in the large sense. With all that, I offer this bit of insight from Confucius:
“If names are not correct then statements do not accord with facts.

And when statements and facts do not accord, then business cannot be properly executed.
When business is not properly executed, order and harmony do not flourish.
When order and harmony do not flourish, then justice becomes arbitrary.
And when justice becomes arbitrary, people do not know how to move hand or foot.

Hence whatever a wise man states he can always define, and what he so defines he can always carry into practice; for the wise man will on no account have anything remiss in his definitions.’
Confucius, Lúnyŭ† (Analects), xiii:3 (Chinese, early fifth century BC)2”

Empires of the Word.”(*)
 Nicholas Ostler 

My favorite
So, Confucius might have been a good member of the Chapter 11 team, but for his age. I think he said it all about data quality, data integrity, and indeed business integrity in the largest sense of the word when he said:

"And when statements and facts do not accord, then business cannot be properly executed."

(*) If you love language or history, then "Empires of the Word" is a good read on the history of language

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