Ways to ‘Communivate’ your Data Issues

Part 1 of:
Purple Cow approach to Data Quality

Or: How to have fun while trying trying to jump data quality sponsorship hurdles
Or: how to use innovative communication tactics to reach your Data Quality objectives.

‘Communivate’ is a combination of the words communicate and innovate, and it means to communicate in an innovative way. Our team uses it a lot to describe how we get our message across. We are one of those insane teams (aka Sneezers ) who constantly push the boundaries of ‘appropriate’ tactics to get the job done, and are always coming up with new terms to describe our approaches. (Makes me wonder if coining new terms is a DQ thing?)

I am responsible for implementing a Data Quality (DQ) program and I have no business sponsor. As a result, my team and I put an enormous amount of effort into achieving the following:
· Raising awareness
· Communicating poor DQ issues
· Stalking (did I say stalking?) I meant to say identifying and engaging business stakeholders
· Developing business cases to educate business and IT on best practices
· Getting buy-in

Essentially, we collect a lot of data and share it with whoever will listen. And because we don’t have that essential business sponsor, we need to communicate over and over (and over) the same messages to various stakeholders. It can get tiresome [insert shot of Dracula sucking enthusiasm out of lifeless body here] after a while…

So, here is one example of how we communivate,
Goal 1: Raise Awareness
The Strategy? Find a Captive Audience.
Since we don’t have a business sponsor we don’t have the same corporate tools to spread the word. Internal intranets, team portals and corporate newsletters are all off limits, so instead we took the message to the people. Because we’re sneezers, we wanted to push the boundaries and have fun. The team printed off screenshots of seriously bad data and posted them (under covert secrecy – more sneezer fun) on the doors of washroom stalls. You could not get a more captive audience than that.
The results? We ran this campaign 4 times over a 1 year period and by the end of the year our communivative strategy AND the message we were trying to achieve was mentioned by a Senior VP in a corporate communication, we received 57 positive (and I tree hugging negative) comments and another Senior VP asked us when our new campaign was going to start. (Ok, they still are not sponsoring us but they do like us, so one thing at a time..).

Awareness raised, goal achieved.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s