The Importance of Data for Operations Management and Decision Making Essay Sample
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Introduction of TOPIC
In order to be able to make well guided decisions, one needs well based facts and therefore one is in continuous need of quality data. The same goes for operations management; data of substance is a must to run a company in its optimal levels of efficiency, effectiveness and capacity. The five levels of Data Quality Maturity according to Gartner are Aware, Reactive, Proactive, Managed and Optimized. Using these levels and applying them to organizations one can determine the data quality they possess. Of course one has to make a reality check because the theory doesn´t always adapt and molds to the reality, the Costa Rican environment portrays a good example of poor quality data. On the ongoing essay one will address the topics stated beforehand.
After taking a look at Gartner´s model and studying its levels, it is clear that the Costa Rican environment in general, fall into the first two steps of the model: Aware and Reactive. I feel most organizations in Costa Rica are part of level 1: Aware, because they have no critical analysis in terms of data quality. Most businesses tend to believe and as the article says believe computer data as “correct by default” which is a huge mistake. Computers are great tools for analysis and definitely simplify many complicated processes but in the end the information a computer gives is directly related to the information it has been given. There lies the problem. Many Costa Rican businesses believe that once data has been given to a computer it will magically adapt and generate new stats for the future. This is wrong, one should continuously cleanse the data in computers and no consider it a correct by default. Another issue seen in the Costa Rican environment in level 1 companies, is the tendency to ignore data quality problems that are obvious and expect that they will disappear on their own accord.
The moment one identifies a data quality issue one has to do something about th
is issue and fix it, look for the root of the issue, understand the problem and solve it. One has to
Then comes level 3: proactive. I feel that in the Costa Rican environment few companies are part of this level. The sad thing is data quality isn´t part of the Costa Rican culture and therefore not of importance to them. Even though this is the general view, some companies take a proactive approach in regards to data as Gartner suggests. The creation of key roles that provide data should be a must in every company. Departments such as the financial, sales, production and marketing should provide continuous data for a good decision making process. By consolidating data from all the departments the company can see where problems might surge and take a proactive approach to solve them. For example for next month production capacity will be 1000 units and sales intends to sell 1250 units then a problem is bound to happen. By consolidating data one can take a proactive approach and solve and issue before it happens, instead of putting out fires. Level 4 in Gartner´s model is Managed.
Sadly just a few enterprises in Costa Rica are at this level, and the ones that are, are multinational companies. In the Costa Rican enterprise environment national companies should look up to and copy the multinational models when they favor them. A managed data quality in an enterprise can be a key aspect for a company in terms of decision making. Companies should be at this level measuring regularly the accuracy and quality of their data and making continuous adjustments for better data and in hand better decision making abilities. The data quality dashboards should be employed in every company because they are visible for the whole company and show how data quality affects in a direct fashion how the company is run and how the decision making process is affected from the data it is given. Level 5 which is known as optimized is reserved for companies which are in a different league.
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