Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Data Amnesty

I recently walked into our Management Information section. One of my colleagues (who I have known for years) joked, "Quick, it's the data police.... hide your laptops."

It made me think, though....

In the UK, when the police want to clear an area of dangerous weapons, they announce an amnesty.

The police make it known, that for a limited period of time, anyone with a weapon can hand it in to the station without fear of prosecution.

So why not announce a data quality or IT 'amnesty'? These are the things you could include:
  • Data quality issues
  • Data security issues
  • User ID's that are no longer being used
  • Computer equipment that is no longer being used
  • Software that is not recognised by the IT department
A strategy like this works well when there is an uneasy relationship between management and colleagues. It is a good way to start a new data quality or governance department, or merely to re-launch your services. If you have a good relationship, make it humorous. It could be a gimmick, with people submitting things being entered for a prize draw.

If you think a strategy like this won't work, it's worth noting that the UK police recently took nearly 40,000 weapons off our streets in 2012. Imagine what a similar amnesty may do for your organisation.

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