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Whence Data Quality?

Scott is a DDJ Senior Contributing Editor and author of numerous IT books. He can be contacted at scottAmbler.html.

According to a survey I performed in July 2006, 96 percent of respondents believe that data is a corporate asset. The survey, reported in "Whence Data Management?" (DDJ, November 2006), unfortunately showed that far fewer than that act on this belief. Only a minority of firms did database regression testing, or database refactoring, and not-surprisingly, the majority of respondents reported having production data problems. These results concerned me, so in September 2006, I ran a second survey that focused on data quality issues and the application of various data-oriented development techniques. This month, I report the findings of that survey.

We sent the survey out to the DDJ mailing list and received 1137 responses in return. When it comes to primary job role, there were 585 developers, 168 IT managers, 107 project managers, 102 data professionals, and 174 people in other roles. A little more than 98 percent of the respondents were from North America, although I suspect that the trends the survey reveals are applicable internationally—I leave it up to you to be the judge of that. Respondents worked in various sizes of IT organizations (see Figure 1), 78 percent worked in the private sector, and 71 percent had 10 or more years of experience in IT.

Figure 1: Size of the IT organization.

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