Last November, in my blog post Data Quality, 50023, I shared a story about one of my DQ-IRL (i.e., Data Quality in Real Life) experiences, and in the comments section, readers shared some of their stories, which were even better.
In case you missed it, go check it out now. Don’t worry, I can wait.
You back yet? No . . . how about now? You’re back now? Okay, cool.
Wow, weren’t those some great DQ-IRL stories? It’s impossible to pick a favorite since they were all awesome. (But clearly, Crysta Anderson’s comment was the best ).
In my final comment reply, I promised to run a recurring series on this topic.
Well, today I am proud to say that after eight months of careful planning and some investigative reporting that both Geraldo Rivera and his mustache would be proud of, this blog post is officially the second entry in the series!
Okay, so the truth is that I completely forgot about this project until last week.
That’s when Jon Crowell shared some of his “tales from the dirty data crypt” in his excellent blog post Dirty Customer Data Makes You Look Like a Buffoon.
In case you missed it, please go check it out now. Seriously, it’s much better than my old post that I just made you re-read. Don’t worry, once again, I can wait.
. . .
Are you back now? Awesome. Weren’t Jon’s DQ-IRL stories excellent?
Well, although it’s definitely not as good, here’s my latest DQ-IRL story . . .
I am NOT as old as my Postal Address makes you think I am
I live in Ankeny, which is a northern “suburb” of Des Moines, Iowa.
Slightly more specifically, I own a townhouse in a community that is demographically identified as being comprised of retired people, which in the United States, means you are likely to be at least in your early sixties, if not much older.
The demographics for my townhouse community are based largely on construction blueprints, which are publicly available data in the state of Iowa.
All of the townhouses in my community are exactly the same.
Although the units are two bedroom, two full bath, their layout is relatively small and best-suited for individuals or couples without children.
Perhaps most telling is that they are single-level dwellings built on a concrete slab foundation—meaning no basement—and, in fact, they have absolutely no stairs at all. Even our “front porches” are on the slab, which also means no outdoor stairs.
These demographics almost scream “retirement community” and therefore, as far as the consumer marketing world is concerned—I am a very old man.
Although we have a few young families, the vast majority of the other members of my homeowners association conform almost perfectly to the expected demographics.
The result is that at least 80% of both my junk mail and telemarketing calls are offering me products and services to assist with my “active senior lifestyle.”
I get offers for senior singles cruises, hearing aids and other medical equipment typically used by the elderly, and frequent offers to take a free tour, with meals and transportation included, of one of the nearby luxury retirement communities.
Of course, when I first bought my townhouse, I actually tried to reason with some of this marketing onslaught, even telling some of the telemarketers my real age.
But apparently I also sound old on the phone, because most of these kind folks laughed at what they assumed was a joke, and simply responded by saying:
“Well, I guess it’s true what they say, you are only as old as you feel, right Mr. Harris?
We’ll pick you up at 3 o’clock in the afternoon tomorrow for our all-you-can-eat-and-play Buffet and Bingo Bonanza, okay?”
No, it’s not okay.
By the way, all you iPod/iPhone/iPad/iHippie freaks—Stay the hell off of my lawn!
Please Share Your DQ-IRL Story
Please share your DQ-IRL story by posting a comment below.
Alternatively, post it on your own blog, then let us all know about it via a comment, a trackback, or if you use Twitter, then please share it via the #DQ-IRL hashtag.