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Oscar Pistorius trial shows the importance of data management

Oscar Pistorius’ trial has been dubbed the ‘trial of the century’ and is receiving a lot of media attention. A young woman has died, under tragic circumstances and the fate of her killer lies in the evidence, the prosecutions ability to create a picture from that evidence, and the ability of the defence to create reasonable doubt. The same concept can be applied to data management within an organisation.


Typically, we think of data as information captured in a database. The evidence used in this trial serves as a reminder that data is simply raw information and can take many forms.
A court case presents evidence - data - and draws conclusions based on this data. This can be likened to the decision-making process of any business. Ironically, in a court case, the prosecution and the defence are each pushing for diametrically opposed conclusions – innocence or guilt, using the same data.


While the merits of the case are for the court to decide, what has been interesting is the legal process itself, and how the opposing counsel is applying data management principles to support their desired outcomes.


Indeed, the outcome of this case could depend on the data management principles of data governance and data quality.

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Published in Analytics & BI
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