Data Quality: Dimensions, Measurement, Strategy, Management, and Governance

Rupa Mahanti, ASQ Quality Press, 2019, 526 pp., $89 member, $135 list (book).

Data (facts and statistics collected together for reference and analysis) currently are the world’s most valuable assets. Data will drive the 21st century, as steam propelled the 1700s, electricity sparked the 1800s and hydrocarbons powered the 1900s. Evidence shows only 3% of data meet basic quality standards. Bad data are expensive and propagate errors throughout a system. It is estimated that 40% of initiatives fail, and a company can lose 20% of its revenue because of data quality issues.

This book discusses data and its quality, dimensions, management and governance without being overly technical. Myths are debunked. Helpful tables, examples and illustrations are included. Each chapter ends with conclusions and a summary of key points. Adding a glossary might be advantageous, but most terms can be found in the index or appendixes. The bibliography is complete.

I recommend scanning the book to understand its breadth and become familiar with the topics. Next, focus on one area at a time as they apply to your situation. Lastly, use the book as an invaluable reference guide.

The heart of the book talks about defining and measuring data quality dimensions and developing strategies for improvement and rehabilitation. It is not practical to measure every data dimension, and not all are important in each circumstance. Only those that yield significant benefits should be examined for quality purposes. Suggestions for determining critical items and initial steps for rehabilitation are presented.

Anyone responsible for gathering, using or maintaining large amounts of data will benefit from this book. The phrase “garbage in, garbage out” is as true today as when it was first stated because it now multiplies further and faster.

Marc A. Feldman, Magnolia, TX

Strategic Customer Service

John A. Goodman and Scott M. Broetzmann, HarperCollins Leadership, 2019, 288 pp., $18.49 list (book).

This book presents and details a business management system that ensures excellent customer service and satisfaction. By managing the customer experience, a business can remove customers’ frustrations, and achieve long-term survival and continuous growth. The strategy presented ensures positive word-of-mouth publicity, customer retention, client loyalty and profit maximization.

The terms “customer service” and “customer experience” often are mistakenly used interchangeably, but the author clearly defines the terms. Customer service focuses on human interactions, while customer experience involves every way the business interacts with internal and external customers. Strategic customer service involves gathering all customer requirements, focuses on how to use a product or service, stresses the ease of interaction with self-service support, and notes the importance of welcoming and impressing customers when they visit a location. Customer experience embraces customer service, technology and design.

This valuable resource will help businesses understand their in-place customer service framework. Table 3.1 provides the strategic customer service framework. Executives will note the required objectives, functions, processes and metrics leading up to the global metric “easy to do business with.” Figure 3.1 displays the process system flow, showing 20 customer service process links. Using these two exhibits, management can make people’s lives easier and better with technology, and the business will become more efficient.

Customer service is expected everywhere, which makes this book a valuable resource for businesses and executives. Customer service has a cost, and attracting new customers costs more than retaining existing customers. Therefore, businesses must understand their customers’ needs and maintain a customer service system with goals and processes coupled with quality products.

The book will help management create a culture focused on customer service for customer satisfaction. As customer demands change, this book can be used to continuously improve customer service.

John J. Lanczycki, Jr., West Springfield, MA

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--Issah Musah, 02-09-2020

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