Adapt UAT to create trusting, cross-functional partnerships

If you don’t have a data quality program, you can get started now! A useful and familiar toolkit is user acceptance testing (UAT), a standard quality control phase within the software development lifecycle (SDLC). You should have UAT playbooks in-house, and you can adapt UAT to improve data quality.

Everybody wants trustworthy data, but the cross-functional nature of data quality encourages finger-pointing, blame games, and stalemate. Trusting partnerships grow from collaboration, and the UAT framework can help you start collaborating today. Vendor products can help, but nobody understands your data landscape better than your team does.

What is UAT?

UAT provides a framework…

But COVID-19 adaptations can improve your data discipline

(Image: Rufino / CC BY-SA-2.0)

When you shake hands, you’re “touching” everything the other person touched after their last sanitizing. That’s always been true, but the COVID-19 pandemic forced us to rethink this ancient custom. Now we realize that common everyday actions can increase or decrease spread of the virus. Now it’s not rude to avoid a handshake. Facemasks are common items, even fashion statements. These are rapid adaptations to the pandemic upheaval.

Digital transformation (DX) is a partial solution to today’s essential challenge: Creating insights and innovation from today’s data wave. Data come from smartphones, social media, connected devices, and new technologies every year…

A Steam Age “big data” problem from the census shows why it matters

Tabulation of 1790 census; online form for 2020 census (Images: USCB)

Too many articles talk about digital transformation without defining it. And most definitions use vague language, or include an awkward hodgepodge of “digital” items and concepts. It’s no wonder some people dismiss “digital transformation” as a “meaningless buzzword”.

The history of the United States Census is a story about data and technology that begins in 1790 but also shows why digital transformation matters. Digital transformation (often styled as “DX”) is really about two things. The first is the explosion of data from new technologies. …

This article is a review of other people’s definitions of digital transformation (often styled as “DX”). It’s a sidebar to my story of the U.S. Census Bureau in the history of digital data, where I provide this definition:

Digital transformation (DX) is the application of “big data” tools to advance decision-making, process efficiency, and customer experience.

In this sidebar, I’ll review some other definitions. My view is that a slightly narrower definition is more useful because it ties to Kotter’s definition of transformation as “fundamental changes in how business is conducted in order to help cope with a new, more…

Pandemic adaptation fosters a mindset that’s essential for organizational change

A picture of the virus SARS-CoV-2. A symbol for digital transformation, which uses “big data” technology to improve business
A picture of the virus SARS-CoV-2. A symbol for digital transformation, which uses “big data” technology to improve business
Images: SARS-CoV-2/CDC PHIL #23312; Digital Transformation (modified from Suidroot original)

Upheaval forces rapid change. In a few months, everyone has adapted to the COVID-19 pandemic. Some adaptations like personal protective equipment (PPE) and decontamination were essential for workers in healthcare, emergency response, and eventually in places like supermarkets. Others, like intensive hygiene, are essential for everyone’s health. We’ve adapted to recommendations such as physical distancing, and to mandates like shelter-in-place, business closures and cancellation of activities. Now we use videoconferencing in schools, churches, families, and more. We learned new terms like COVID-19, PPE, social distancing, N95. …

Tom Hirata

Transformation must have people-centered purpose. Technology is a tool, and can’t be the reason for transformation.

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