10 Signs Your Data Isn’t Ready (And How to Fix It)

If you’re experiencing one or more of these 10 problems, chances are your data isn’t ready to support meaningful decision making…  




1. Your data extracts or reports take more than 1 minute to run.


Solution: Start with data base tuning, or check out cloud database hosting, like Microsoft Azure. 




2. The SQL queries in your reports look like a tangled mess.


Solution: Use dimensional data modeling to simplify queries. Move messy logic upstream as you load the data warehouse. 




3. You can’t combine your data sources into one report or analysis.


Solution: Conformed dimensions standardize values across systems so you can easily link your data sets together. 




4. You need an analyst to help figure out what data is stored where.


Solution: Keep track of your data flows by using a self-documenting markup language for business intelligence (see BIML). 




5. You need help from IT to figure out how to connect all your data sources.


Solution: Consolidate your data into a single technology platform, creating a single source of truth. 




6. Your report SQL queries are full of cleanup tasks (CASE, COALESCE, ISNULL, etc.)


Solution: Move the cleanup process into your data warehouse’s ETL (extract, transform, load) process. 




7. Data that spans departments takes more than 10 minutes to combine.


Solution: Centralize and automate raw data collection into a single repository (data lake) before feeding it into your data warehouse. 




8. You frequently argue over which system/department has the right number.


Solution: Create accountability with a data governance process that assigns ownership to key data sets. 




9. You’re paranoid that your data is inaccurate.


Solution: Automate the monitoring process to detect missing data, invalid data, and out of control processes. 




10. The thought of your key data person quitting gives you a panic attack.


Solution: Hire a fully-managed DWaaS (Data Warehouse as a Service) provider like Xerva. We won’t quit on you ever!