'Poor data quality is still hampering strategic CRM and business intelligence initiatives, according to Gartner, but it is "a business issue, not an IT matter," which needs be addressed be the appointment of a data tzar or data stewards from within the business.

These individuals should be considered subject-matter experts for their departments, by keeping data complete, correct, consistent, honest and not redundant. Understanding the importance of data quality and having the right visibility and influence in the business are all vital to successful data quality management. Clear goals are needed for improvement and to nurture a culture of data quality throughout the organisation.'

I couldn't have put it better myself – which is why we are planning the "Turning Data into Information for Effective Customer Services", as I reported on Friday.


I've mixed feelings about Microsoft's £22 billion offer for Yahoo. As the BBC put it, "this is a shot-gun marriage, and Google is holding the shot-gun".

On the one hand, it seems to make sense in driving economies of scale through synergies in the Microsoft and Yahoo businesses and challenging Google's dominance of Web Search and advertising revenue but, on the other, why play Google's game? I'm puzzled by the fact that companies like Microsoft just sit on many of the innovations from their Research Labs. Microsoft's "Photosynth" is a case in point. I wonder if a better strategy would be for Microsoft to exploit its research capital, and possibly develop entirely new markets?

Monday

I met Fiona Dew and her colleague at the BT Centre in Newgate Street for a demonstration of BT Vision, and discussion of potential collaboration with the digital TV projects in which Newham is engaged.

I hadn't appreciated that BT Vision is currently available on the BT network, only, although I suppose that should have been obvious to me. Currently, growth is very impressive with 10,000 new accounts per month. It was agreed to provide access to BT's laboratories at Liverpool Street for one of our technicians to determine how NeAT can be provided via BT Vision.