This is the third of our Author Interviews in our 12 Weeks of Books to celebrate Castlebridge’s 12th birthday.
This week I had a chat with one of the people who got me started in this wacky world of data, Dr Tom Redman (aka the “Data Doc”).
In this short video (edited down from a fantastic conversation), Tom shares his insights into the critical importance of data quality to organisations of all sizes. He also talks about the importance of the fundamentals of data to society.
He shares some thoughts on his book Data Driven – Profiting From your Most Important Business Asset. This book sets out some essential things organisations need to do to effectively manage data as an asset. Tom’s take on things he would do differently if writing that book again is that he shouldn’t have dialled down the importance of data quality in that book to give a ‘fairer’ hearing to other aspects of data. “All roads lead through data quality”.
This is an important point. Good quality data is essential a whole variety of data initiatives for organisations and society. Building machine learning on poor data data leads to poor quality results. The “Leaders’ Data Group” has done some work on this very topic with Dr Redman!
Tom echoes John Ladley’s comments on the importance of data strategy and the importance of getting in front of data as a key enabler of organisation capabilities rather than just the documentation of how systems and databases are connected together.
Tom also echoes the theme from other authors we interviewed:
“People who want to lead the charge in the data space need to be incredibly well-read.”
Tom listed a number of authors, books, and areas of reading that have influenced his thinking in topics ranging from the social and anthropological aspects of data to the ‘red in tooth and claw’ disciplines of business strategy and competitive strategy.
The book that influenced Tom is by W.Edwards Deming’s Quality, Productivity, and Competitive Advantage, later “cleaned up” as Out of the Crisis. Tom talks about how the raw passion of Deming for the importance of quality and his frustration with management is “dripping from the page”. Tom also highlights how Deming was a humanist and there is a strong emphasis in his thinking on quality management on the importance of people. Tom thinks Deming would be furious at how we are demeaning people in the Informati0n Age.
If you would like to be entered into a draw to win some of the books referenced by Tom in this video and in the rest of the videos we’re running this month, please provide your email address and an answer to the simple question in the form below. The terms and conditions for the competition can be found here:
Books Referenced in this Video
- Data Driven – Profiting From your Most Important Business Asset (Dr. Tom Redman)
- The Discoverers (Daniel Boorstin)
- Quality, Productivity, and Competitive Advantage (W. Edwards Deming)
- Out of the Crisis (W.Edwards Deming)
- The Social Life of Information (John Seely Brown)
- The Competitive Strategy (Michael Porter)