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Fixing Dirty Data – Susan Walsh is The Classification Guru
Episode 522nd April 2020 • The Procuretech Podcast: Digital Procurement, Unwrapped • James Meads
00:00:00 00:29:40

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Susan Walsh is The Classification Guru, bringing you affordable solutions to clean up your data before undertaking any digital transformation project.

Dirty data is the scourge of most organisations, both large and small. We discuss the approach, the root causes of poor data, what to do about it, and how maintaining key data is the key. Doing it once and then washing your hands of the problem is a recipe for disaster!

Fixing your Dirty Data - Get your data classified, so you can deliver savings opportunities or commence your digital transformation


Susan's story of how she became a data specialist, from quite an unconventional work experience history!


Why starting with the basics and making data FUN is core to Susan's approach to data.


Where to get started if you're a complete beginner to the topic of cleaning your data. A "Data 101" of how to get the basics in place and what the best first steps to take should be.


Consistency is key - the first rule of data classification. Using a master taxonomy that sits above any local level data classification.


The first step: Supplier normalisation (vendor master harmonisation) to remove duplicate records of the same vendor.


Once vendor records have been harmonised, Susan then explains how the next steps are really dependent upon the client's setup and to what level of detail they wish to categorise their data.


What is the recommended programme for ongoing follow-up and data cleansing reviews? We dig in to how much ongoing maintenance is necessary, depending on the specifics of each case.


Proactive roles which can be playes to ensure data governance is given the necessary importance in roles and responsibilities throughout teams.


Susan gives her best answer to anyone facing the conundrum of how to put together a business case for senior leaders to sign off on the costs of a data cleansing initiative.


The opportunity cost question: Is it more cost effective to do this in-house? Why would you task your category managers or procurement analysts with this, when it's not their core job?


Ownership of data (or lack of!) Why this conundrum scuppers most organisations, and what can be done to change this. Where should data ownership sit, especially in a larger organisation?


The role that a Chief Data Officer could play in future, and how this could disarm some of the politics of "who's data is this anyway"?

Useful Links:

Art of Procurement Episode 301

How to connect with Susan:

The Classification Guru website

Susan's LinkedIn profile

How to connect with James:

James Meads Consulting website

James' LinkedIn profile

Book a Call with James

Follow The Procuretech Podcast on LinkedIn