Dings to talk about when offshoring data

Restless minds will want to know what Asian manufacture of furniture, clothes, electronics and other goods has to do with business intelligence.

A globe-trotting industrial engineer who’d rather not be named has been telling me about different perceptions of quality among nationalities. He works on contract to American companies to ensure that product quality lives up to agreements.

When Americans buys new stuff, they assume it’ll come out of the box without dings, dents, scrapes or other flaws. Seams will be tight, electrical joints will be well soldered, paint on the fender will match the hood, wood veneer will be smooth.

According to the engineer, Chinese and Indian manufacturing and warehousing staff he’s worked with see it differently. When he flags a wooden cabinet, for example, with a deep gouge on the corner, the Chinese warehouse manager shrugs. “He’ll say, ‘That’s just because it was moved around the warehouse.’ It’s nothing to him.” Same with a chair with one shade of fabric on the armrest and another on the seat.

What about data? If that’s their cultural bias about dings in furniture, how do they feel about dings in data? Is carelessly handled data as easy to detect?

The data industry thrives on conversation. Please submit a comment.

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