Data quality: practising what we preach
By Mark Dexter
11th May 2012

Any business, large or small, can be guilty of focusing on the now, rather than the future, particularly when things are busy. To a certain degree we have fallen into that trap.  However, now the KDR Recruitment re-brand and web site re-launch is out of the way it is time to remember the business we are in - the business of data.  I don't mean the information management market we recruit into, but that fact that as an Information Management recruitment agency what we basically do is manage information, or data.

Sure, there is all the relationship building and networking that we take for granted as professional recruiters, but that means nothing if the quality of our data is not up to scratch.

So, we have embarked on a major project to make sure that our candidate and client data is as up to date and as targeted as it can be.  Like any business our data is constantly changing, but I think that our 'customer' data probably changes more than most. With an average contract length of nine months and an average employment of two years our candidate data needs updating more often than the average address change; on average 30% of all business address data goes out of date within 12 months.

One of the things we have always tried to do is to be as accurate as possible with the roles we approach our candidates about.  The feedback we receive from our candidates is that there is nothing more frustrating than being approached about a role that you are in no way capable of doing.  We are therefore developing and enhancing the way we group our candidate pool.  We also have to ensure we are up to date with the latest in-demand skills.  Twelve months ago very few people had any experience with Big Data, for example. Now we have to ensure we know who has picked up skills in this area as the demand for these skills explodes.  Add into that the ever changing landscape of all the other Information Management skills our candidates may have and you can see that we have a never ending challenge of data management.

To that end we have taken on our first apprentice, Rachael, to work with Mel on defining what is required from our data and how we are going to make sure it is fit for purpose. I'll update you as we progress on this project (is it really a project, or more like a proverbial never ending Forth Bridge?)

If you have any comments or thoughts on how your own data challenges may be similar or any pitfalls we should avoid then please let me know!

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