TDWI Boston Chapter Meeting at MIT a Success

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TDWI Boston Chapter Meeting at MIT a Success


The TDWI Boston Chapter had a great meeting yesterday at the MIT Faculty Club in Cambridge, MA. The Club is on the 6th floor overlooking the Charles River and Boston. It was a beautiful, September afternoon with sail boats and crews in the river and joggers along the Esplanade. 

The meeting itself was exceptional, with three distinguished guests discussing data quality. 

– "Raising the Bar on Corporate Information Quality: $1 Million at a Time" by Dr. Richard Wang, Chief Data Quality Officer, U.S. Army

– “Framework for the Analysis of the Adaptability, Extensibility and Scalability of Semantic Information Integration to Improve Data Quality in Data Warehouses” by Dr. Stuart Madnick, Professor Sloan School of Management and Professor M.I.T.

“Breaking Rules: How do Information Worriers Solve Problems”  by Dr. Yang Lee, Associate Professor Northeastern University

As you can tell by the titles, the presentations were not for the uninitiated to the problems of data quality in business intelligence, data integration and data warehousing. As you might guess, we did not get any vendor pitches, but rather academic, government and corporate perspectives.

The key takeaways from the presentations:

  • Data quality is primarily about context not accuracy (accuracy is part of the equation but only a very small portion).
  • No single version of the truth exists but rather the truth is in the yes of the beholder, i.e. business context.
  • You need to "break the rules." Too often people attack the symptoms of poor data quality rather than determine it sources.
  • Besides being informative, the speakers presented potentially "dry" material in an interesting and interactive way.

It was certainly worth one's time to get out from work and hear the speakers' opinions and work in this area. The only drawbacks to the afternoon was Cambridge traffic, construction and parking.

Full Disclosure: I am a TDWI Boston Chapter officer

1 Comment

  1. Jim Harris says:

    I really liked the quote “data quality is primarily about context not accuracy…”
    I added to my DQ-Tips series on my blog:
    DQ-Tip: “Data quality is primarily about context not accuracy…”
    Thanks and Best Regards…

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