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IDQ Webinars: with Gwen Thomas, President and Founder of The Data Governance Institute
Recorded 2010-09-08


Tell Me Where it Hurts: Using Medical Metaphors to Highlight Data Quality and Governance Contributions


Last winter, our speaker slipped on the ice and suffered a concussion. While dealing with first responders, emergency room personnel, doctors, nurses, and technicians, she realized something important: they were all using the same questions to ask about her pain, her injury, and underlying conditions.  They all used the same language to describe how they were going to diagnose her condition, and what they were going to do to help her. They were consistent about the differences between injury, disease, and underlying malformations. As a result, they could easily reach agreement about what had happened, how they had responded, and the benefit of their responses to the patient, her insurance company, and other stakeholders. Furthermore, they could communicate this in a way that could be understood by a cold and frightened patient lying on a gurney with the headache of a lifetime.

What if our work were this way? What if we could align our accounts of data-related injuries, contaminations, malformations, and other problems? What if we could seamlessly communicate these to our stakeholders in a way that made them feel as grateful toward Data Quality and Data Governance teams as the speaker was for the medical profession that day?  Join Gwen Thomas of the Data Governance Institute as she introduces a "Taxonomy of Data Pain."



About the Author

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Gwen Thomas has served as Corporate Data Advocate for the International Finance Corporation (IFC, the private-sector arm of the World Bank Group) since 2013.

She has also influenced hundreds of data programs around the globe as Founder of the Data Governance Institute and primary author of its framework and guidance materials published at Her blog series, “Guidance by Gwen,” is a wealth of knowledge on data strategy, data governance, and realizing value from information assets. A frequent presenter at industry events. has named Gwen one of "17 Women in Technology You Should be Following on Twitter" (she's @gwenthomasdgi).

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About the Author

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Dr Tony O'Brien, is a Senior Lecturer at Sheffield Business School as Sheffield Hallam University focussing upon Finance, Accounting and Business Systems. He previously worked for over forty years as an accountant engaged in business finance, general management, IT and the management and implementation of Information Systems. He has worked for a number of large organisations including Shell, British Gypsum, British Oxygen, Great Universal Stores and Remploy. He is an associate member of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators (ICSA) and holds a Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) from Nottingham Business School and an MBA from Leeds Business School.

From 2008 to 2011 Tony was the Moderator of the IAIDQ IQ International Webinars

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