October 19, 2022

Choosing a Data Quality Tool

Introducing new technology to any area of your business has the potential to disrupt ways of working and present new challenges. But when it comes to data quality, overcoming these initial disruptions and challenges will pay off in the long run.

Bad data can impact numerous processes, hinder key business activities, threaten compliance, and pose a risk to your organisation’s reputation. On the other hand, good quality data is the key to improving every aspect of your company’s operations.There are numerous data quality tools available on the market, so choosing the right one can be a daunting task. Here are some important considerations to keep in mind to ensure the process goes as smoothly as possible.

Your Business Requirements

Before you look too closely at the various data quality tools available, it’s important to understand your own business requirements. The goal should not be to choose the “best” data quality tool, but rather the most appropriate data quality tool for you, your team and your organisation; the tool that helps you achieve your aims and objectives. While certain features might sound great on the surface, you need to look beyond this and consider whether you would use them and whether they would contribute to your business goals. If not, then there’s no point in giving them any further thought.

The Limitations

Data quality challenges cannot be solved by procuring software alone. There’s no magic fix; rather a tool that must be utilised to fix the problem. A car will not help you get from A to B unless you have fuel and a driver, and the same goes for data quality tools. It’s important to understand this and have other things in place to ensure the success of your data quality programme, such as a capable and motivated team and support from senior sponsors. That being said, a tool will simplify the process, while also providing a central place to keep track of your efforts.

Who Will Be Using The Tool

There’s no point in having a shiny, new data quality tool, if nobody is going to use it – or worse still if nobody even knows how to use it.

While many tools are built for data specialists and technical people, others are designed with business users in mind. If democratising data is important to you and your business, then you should be on the look-out for user-friendly interfaces, data dictionaries that are accessible to all, and clear data quality dashboards that show the information people want to see. Features like these mean people will want to use the tool and will see value in doing so.

The Bigger Picture

In times gone by, data quality tools looked solely at standardising and cleansing data items. The problems came in, and the tool would help to identify and fix them. However, it is now commonplace for organisations to proactively prevent errors from being introduced in the first place. As such, many data quality tools now support data governance and data stewardship alongside data quality. If you would like to save time, effort and money in the long term, be sure to look out for data governance features when looking for a data quality tool.

Pricing & Licensing Models

The price and licensing model of different data quality solutions can vary wildly. Some tools will charge per seat, for varying amounts of data, and/or per data quality rule. Taking the time to understand the pricing model in detail could save thousands.

In addition to the pricing for the tool itself, consider the support available and cost for this. While using a suitable data quality tool can provide many benefits, cleansing huge volumes of data can still be overwhelming. As such, it could be very helpful for your team if a vendor offers support, training, and other professional services, to help get started and to navigate any challenges when you reach a sticking point.

Trials & Pilot Projects

Even when considering the above, it can be tricky to make the right data quality tool choice. One way to minimise risk is to choose a supplier who offers a trial or proof of concept, so you can see results before committing to a longer-term license. A free trial may sound attractive, but a funded trial may actually make more sense if it is going to provide tangible and actionable outcomes.

The most important aspect of any pilot project is deciding, in advance, what good looks like. A good vendor should be able to shape the delivery to make the message land with your sponsors and ensure a successful delivery.

Final Thoughts

No matter how skilled your data team is, they will still struggle to maintain acceptable levels of data quality without the right tool. A tool which is aligned to your business requirements, suitable for the intended users, helps to identify and overcome the root causes of data quality challenges, and offers the right pricing, licensing, and proof of concept options, can be a huge differentiator in the performance of data stewards, data owners, data analysts, and the whole organisation.

IntoZetta is one tool which could support your data cleansing team in rectifying data quality errors with speed and accuracy. The IntoZetta software:

  • Has a user-friendly interface and easy to understand features, designed for business users.
  • Includes data profiling, data governance and data quality modules, to help you understand the bigger picture.
  • Offers clear and transparent pricing, with unlimited seats as standard and a set licence cost regardless of the amount of data or number of data quality rules.
  • Is available for a proof of concept, including two months access to the software after the initial PoC, free of charge.