Speaker Spotlight Column: Joy Medved on Information Quality

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edw2013-speaker-spotlightby Charles Roe

DATAVERSITY™ recently interviewed Joy Medved, the Senior Director of Data Quality & Governance at ServiceSource. Joy will be giving a tutorial at the Enterprise Data World 2014 Conference in Austin, Texas from April 27 – May 1, 2014. Her tutorial is titled “Executing Sustainable Information Quality” and will be co-presented with Daragh O’Brien, the Managing Director at Castlebridge Associates.

The Speaker Spotlight Column (and its parallel venture the Sponsor Spotlight Column) is an ongoing project that focuses on highlighting several of the central issues represented at the many Data Management conferences produced by DATAVERSITY.

The primary emphasis of the interview was to question Joy Medved on her work and history within the industry, with particular importance on her presentation at the upcoming conference:

What are you going to discuss during your session at EDW14, and what will the audience gain from attending your talk? (Please be specific about one or two issues you’ll be addressing and the benefits the audience will obtain).

Joy Medved (JM): The tutorial I will be presenting together with Daragh O’Brien provides a structured life-cycle framework and meta-methodology that incorporates both the analytical and human factors critical to executing a sustainable information quality program.

DV: What is really important about such a topic in terms of the current state of Data Management and / or how the industry is going to transform moving into the future?

JM: We are moving out of early adopter/low hanging fruit stages in our IQ programs. Early risks got us moving, but to sustain our programs it is important to understand how human factors can work with us (and against us) and how metrics and psychology combined can improve our processes and help us make better decisions.

DV: Please tell us a little about yourself and your history in the industry, past work experience, and how you got started in the data profession?

JM: In additional to training and instructional design, my background includes building and improving data quality, Data Governance, and metadata programs. For most of the past 20 years I have worked in a consulting capacity, but have recently taken a position as Sr. Director of Data Quality and Governance with ServiceSource. I was excited by the challenge of building a global data quality and governance program. Interestingly, my start in the data industry came because I was interested in statistical research design and development. I learned a lot about data quality through survey design and analysis, as well as my Six Sigma Black Belt training. Eventually, I moved from designing research projects to managing quality projects to developing full-blown data programs.

DV: What is the biggest challenge happening in your particular area of Data Management at this time?

JM: It used to be that getting people to understand “data” was our biggest challenge. Today, the challenge is getting people to understand data as a strategic asset, and acquiring the necessary funding and resources to sustain ongoing data programs. Companies understand vertical functional budget needs, i.e. marketing, finance, IT. But, data is a horizontal within any given company. Data needs are also seen as “overhead” that no one wants. One key is to help each functional area understand the need for data quality and governance as it pertains to their area, and then let them help drive the communication upward to help secure the necessary funding and resources. It really goes a long way if the marketing or finance teams start screaming that they need better data quality, then if one data quality practitioner tries to go it alone.

DV: How is such a change influencing your job?

JM: I have really enjoyed working with more and more companies who understand data as a strategic asset. I see programs getting developed more quickly and with a higher degree of success. This is really a good field to be in right now – lots of data programs being developed.

DV: How have your job, and / or the work you are doing at your organization, altered in the past 12 months? How do you expect it will change in the next 1-2 years?

JM: As a consultant, my main function was to help companies build successful data programs. My new role at ServiceSource fits right into that niche. The biggest change with my new role is that I get to enjoy the challenge of building and managing a new global program that includes data governance, data quality analyst, data quality architecture, and data quality engineering teams. Very exciting! I anticipate that will keep me pretty busy for the foreseeable future.

DV: Are there any other emerging technologies you predict will affect your job function in the future?

JM: I’ve seen a number of data solutions for analysis and governance popping up in the past few years. It will be interesting to see these solutions mature. To be successful, programs need technology to help analyze and manage data needs. The concern I have is that inexperienced managers and executives sometimes think that purchasing a multi-million dollar solution will save money from hiring experienced talent. That’s like buying a corporate jet to save on travel expenses, and then expecting the plane to fly itself.

DV: What’s your favorite “Data” or “Data Management” quote?

JM: I’ve been telling my clients for more than two decades, “If you don’t have the time or money to do it right, you probably won’t have the time or money to do it over.”

DV: How do you explain what you do for work, at a cocktail party, or to your grandparents?

JM: “You know that credit report you were just looking at that needed fixing in order for you to be approved for that new car loan you want? Well, I help improve the process that makes information like that more accurate so it doesn’t need fixing and you can get your new car without all that hassle.”


If you are interested in attending Joy’s session at EDW2014, please see the conference schedule at: http://edw2014.dataversity.net/agenda.cfm?confid=79&scheduleDay=PRINT

Her session is on Thursday, May 1st at 1.15pm.

About Enterprise Data World:
Enterprise Data World is the business world’s most comprehensive educational event about data and information management. Over five days, EDW presents a diverse schedule of programming that addresses every level of proficiency, including keynotes, workshops, tutorials, case studies, and discussions.

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