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You can’t launch a rocket with diesel: Data quality and business growth

What does rocket fuel have to do with data? Just like you need the right fuel to launch a spacecraft, your business needs the right data to propel growth.

Last month SpaceX launched the Crew Dragon, its first manned flight, into orbit (after a short weather delay – good timing, thanks Elon). It was a big deal for space exploration: paving a new flight path for NASA to fully staff the ISS and for SpaceX to do more space-based research for future missions.

And if you were wondering, ‘what fuel does it take to propel a rocket into space?’ as you watched the launch, we can tell you now: the answer is not diesel.

It is, in fact, a mixture of monomethyl hydrazine fuel and nitrogen tetroxide oxidizer (really trips off the tongue, doesn’t it?).

But what does this have to do with data?

Well, think of it like this.

Your business is the SpaceX Crew Dragon. Your data is the fuel. For you to launch your rocket out of Earth’s atmosphere and into space, to carry out all of those incredible feats of exploration/business growth, you need that fuel to be the highest quality it can be, tailored to your rocket. Or business.

If the quality isn’t good enough, it’s not going to get you anywhere – regardless of how great your technology is.

Poor data quality can skew your insights, wreak havoc on financial reporting, ruin your customer experience and stop growth plans in their tracks. Whether you are using PIM, MDM, Machine Learning…you name it, bad data will spoil it. It’s expensive, it’s messy and if you’re on a path to data-driven business growth, it really is like sticking diesel in a space rocket and hoping for the best.

Good data quality, meanwhile, gives you greater insight into your business. It provides accurate reporting and analysis. It helps you navigate and react on your path to growth. And it propels your business towards your vision.

Amplifi Rocket 2
Amplifi Rocket

But it’s not just about quality. It’s also about relevance.

For SpaceX’s hypergolic liquid-propellent rocket engines – or Draco engines, if you want the catchier title – to function, they need the right fuel, designed to power their specific technology.

For your business, you don’t just need good quality data, you need it to be relevant to your business goals. Collating reams and reams of supply chain data is never going to help you improve, say, customer experience and personalisation.

It could be good data, but it’s not going to get you where you want to be.

An effective data quality solution looks at both the quality of the data (removing duplicates, out of date information, rogue data and so on) and the relevance of the data in terms of your wider objectives. You can read more about how we do it here.

So take a moment to think about your data.

Is it the super-powered monomethyl hydrazine fuel and nitrogen tetroxide oxidizer to your SpaceX Crew Dragon, perfectly conditioned to launch you towards your business goals?

Or is it diesel: workaday, not too refined, but keeps your business’ current engine ticking over (for now)?

Maybe you don’t know. It’s not always easy to tell whether your data is in the condition it should be, and sometimes you won’t notice the flaws in the mix until it’s too late and the damage is done.

Read our 5 top tips for better Data Quality! Alternatively, you can talk us through your business goals and we’ll help you identify and overcome your data quality challenges. Give us a call on +44 1926 911820, or get in touch directly with a member of our expert team.