Becky Statham, Assciate Consultant at Veran Performance tells us how to deal with Dirty Data.


In a recent article entitled How Dirty Data Is Slowing Down Good HR Analytics, David Creelman writes that firstly, ‘great new analytics tools work from the assumption that we have clean data’ and that this is not the case. Secondly, he suggests that in response to this, HR should learn data quality processes and that pursuing skills and a career in data quality is a good way to go. There are aspects of Creelman’s article that I agree with but for the most part, I would like to propose an alternative point of view.

Creelman doesn’t detail which ‘analytics tools’ he is referring to that assume data is clean but I believe that fortunately, HR technology is starting to realise and work to resolve the problematic fact that data needs cleansing and assessing before any analytics can take place. One tool that takes this stance and goes against Creelman’s first point is OrgVue.

Recently named ‘Cool Vendor’ in HCM software by Gartner and our latest HR technology partner, OrgVue assumes that HR data is ‘messy, unpredictable and fluid’ and their team of developers thrive on the challenge of helping companies overcome this.
The software which is used by clients for HR analytics, workforce planning and scenario modelling, assesses data quality continuously and highlights where data is missing or where duplicates exist. In colourful and customisable visualisations, OrgVue maps out the weaknesses in data quality and asks for corrected data from the people responsible.

To offer an alternative to Creelman’s second point; that skills and job roles in Data Quality are what organisations need, OrgVue enables HR professionals to maximise data quality in their organisation without it being a disruptive change to their career or skillset.
A tool like OrgVue that assumes people data is unclean helps organisations by:

  • Reassuring HR professionals (many of whom did not pursue a job in HR to ‘work with numbers’) that they don’t need to hire Data Quality engineers or train in the area themselves
  • Saving the expense of periodic ‘data quality tests’ which are recommended by Data experts such as Experian
  • Giving HR departments the ability and credibility to manage data in a way previously only done by finance
  • Integrating multiple systems and cleverly merging data to resolve ‘the most common problem with the typical company’s data supply’ which is the duplication of records according Experian’s Data Quality department

‘Dirty data’ is a major obstacle that prevents businesses from gaining real insight into their people and organisational performance but if HR professionals and the technology they work with assume the worst, continuous data cleansing can be implemented without the need to become or hire, data quality professionals.


 Becky Statham, Associate Consultant and HR Tools & Systems Specialist at Veran Performance.