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I recently had the good fortune to attend the Garter Data & Analytics Summit in Texas. It was an awesome trip – not just for the best steak I’ve ever eaten (sorry Calgary) – but as a relative newbie to the world of data management, it was an intense three-day educational boot camp.

Gartner analyst Saul Judah presented a particularly insightful session on data quality assurance for digital business. The digital transformation of business (of the world, for that matter) is all we can talk about these days and I admit to wee bit of fatigue on the subject, but Saul put the conversation in a clear and indisputable context: In this new world, information is an economic agent and business outcomes drive a mandate for data quality. Information stewards and data managers have a daunting responsibility to the success of the enterprise.

What’s more, the challenge and opportunity in the data deluge is not only to derive insight and therefore value from information, but to go beyond the objective measures of validity, integrity, completeness, etc. to the more subjective attributes of interpretability, relevance, timeliness, and ultimately, trustworthiness.

I don’t want the Gartner license police to come after me for giving away their secrets. Certainly, if you’re a Gartner client, I recommend looking at their research and recommendations; and I’m not too modest to point out that SAP has been a leader in the Magic Quadrant for data quality tools for the past 11 years.

And if you’d like a quick but thorough primer about the importance of data quality assurance and how to approach it in your organization, I recommend tuning in to New Digital Realities: Does Your Data Quality Matter? This broadcast (part of the Coffee Break with Game Changers series) is not a Gartner presentation but features my brilliant SAP colleague, Paul Medaille, with Tobias A. Bloch from Accenture and Owen Pettiford from BackOffice Associates. They’re all smart and funny and will undoubtedly share some handy navigational tips for the digital transformation road map.

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