An Example of the World’s Data Crisis

The World Trade Center had one zip code, 10048. Five years later after their destruction, mail of all kinds arrives there daily! It’s an all too sad and vivid reminder of the crisis in our society with businesses not putting priority on cleaning data. This happens every day with catalogs sent to people who have moved or are now deceased.

In this case it’s inexcusable because it’s all one zip code that would be easy to surpress: 10048.

Whether it’s mail, e-mail, web pages, web 2.0 social networks and/or social media, the value creation foundation starts with data integrity. To build the superior ideas of the future, this area will play a pivotal role. Unfortunately, all too many people do not properly value data integrity or value not been blessed enough to be immersed in a culture who is obsessed with it as I have been in the past.

Consider whether you have a good enterprise data strategy before you launch your next project!   

One Response to An Example of the World’s Data Crisis

  1. Ed Kohler December 5, 2006 at 2:38 pm #

    this is an interesting problem, but who has an incentive to solve it? Businesses with little incremental costs associated with the mailings? The USPS, who profits from the mailings?

    Data is imperfect, and more imperfect data is generated every day on the web and in aging databases. I think companies that can work with imperfect data can solve problems without solving the dirty data problem itself. Web search engine who make sense of the web are a good example of this.

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