5 Principles for Increasing the Trustworthiness of Your Company’s Data

5 Principles for Increasing the Trustworthiness of Your Company’s Data

Your organization’s data is the source of both the opportunity and the challenges to your innovation. The difference is whether you can convert raw data sets into clear, actionable information. And that depends on whether you can trust your data.

“Modern data environments are distributed, diverse, and dynamic, making it difficult for organizations to manage and maintain quality levels, leading to distrust of the most important asset for decision-making in the digital economy,” says Stewart Bond, director of Data Integration and Intelligence Software Research at IDC.

Data underpins organizations’ digital transformation and the innovative technologies critical to their long-term viability, including advanced analytics, artificial intelligence, and machine learning. Yet most enterprises can’t measure their data’s health, and 62% of employees in a recent global survey from Talend, a cloud data integration and integrity company, said they don’t trust their data.

Their concerns are justified: Nearly half of all newly created data records have at least one critical error. IBM estimates the annual cost of bad data at $3 trillion.

Improving the data health of your enterprise entails following a core set of principles: “the five Ts of trust.” Your data must be transparent, thorough, timely, trending, and telling.


A baseline for establishing data health and trust is ensuring that data is both clean (error-free) and compliant (meeting industry privacy and security rules). Setting this baseline and applying a persistent approach and ongoing monitoring to data management can help your enterprise validate its data’s accuracy and shield itself against fines and loss of reputation from privacy missteps and security breaches.


In 2016, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) released the Panama Papers, exposing the offshore finance industry through 11.5 million leaked documents—2.6TB of raw data, analyzed by more than 300 journalists from 100 newsrooms in 76 countries, to assess its reliability and convert it into credible reporting. Determining data trust means verifying that a data set is thorough and expansive enough to provide a complete picture, particularly for customer-engagement scenarios where gaining a 360-degree view requires compiling data from many touchpoints.


Just as important as getting the right data is getting it at the right time, whether for spotting fraud, predicting equipment failures, or tracking a fast-moving crisis. When the United Network for Organ Sharing reduced the time it needed to make new information sources available from 18 hours down to three, managing data more efficiently meant saving lives.


Whenever we consult customer ratings online for shopping, dining, or movie recommendations, we place trust in the experiences of others. Similarly, data trust within organizations can be established through the experiences of others by observing trends on how often the organization uses a data set and the data set’s distinct ratings, or “data certifications,” from the experts who either create or use the data closely or frequently.


Just as fact-checks are essential to understanding whether public information is trustworthy, data must be verifiable. A critical factor in establishing trust in data is allowing users to understand why a data set is trustworthy—and, if it isn’t, to provide mechanisms for users to resolve the issues.

Scoring Data Trust

The complexities of data management, and the disconnect between those preparing data and those using it to make decisions, often prevents organizations from seeing the full benefits of the mountains of data they collect.

Closing that gap goes beyond applying the five Ts of trust and establishing an industry standard for data health. The new Talend Trust Score, designed to help users dynamically rate data sets based on each of these five criteria, could fundamentally change the way we use all available data and insights to make decisions.

“Data should be proof and a way to separate fact from fiction and misinformation from the truth,” says Talend CEO Christal Bemont. “It is critical that we have a common approach to measuring the health or trustworthiness of data and a way to instantly give decision-makers clarity and confidence.”

Learn more about Data Trust.

5 Principles for Increasing the Trustworthiness of Your Company’s Data

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