Do They Read the Books They Publish?

March 25, 2011 by
Filed under: Business Impacts, Data Quality 

As an author, I get royalty payments for each of the books that I have written (actually, I get royalties when people actually buy the books). And twice a year, I get a statement that details the accounting for the book sales (accompanied by a check for a relatively small amount of money – buy more books!). Since I am prolific and have written a number of books, my royalty statement lists each book in each publication format (e.g., print vs. electronic), the amount of sales, and what my royalty amount is.

Today I got my statement and was surprised to find that my most recent book was not accounted for in the details. I called the royalty department, and was connected to a very helpful person who looked into the issue by looking up the records for my book.

But…it looked to her like there were no sales for my new book. Now I know there are sales for the book because I bought a bunch of them. I suggested that this might be a data quality problem and that perhaps someone at the publisher should read the book on data quality (hee hee).

Then next thing she tells me is that in order to look up my information, she has to go to another system. Apparently around royalty time they get a lot of calls about errors and inconsistencies in payments and that they have about 6 different systems for managing this stuff. At that point I suggested that the absence of a unified view of author and book data was impacting their operations, and perhaps someone at the publisher should read my previous book on master data management (hee hee hee).

Anyway, we did get the issue sorted out, but I thought it was funny that the company supports my communication of the benefits of high quality master data but is no tyet ready to adopt those good data management practices.

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