Best Practice Report

Five Whys And A Fishbone: Conducting Root Cause Analysis For Data Issues

January 25th, 2018
Julian Archer, null
Julian Archer


By asking a series of questions that get to the root cause of data issues, an organization can conduct a more effective remediation process. This process yields a fishbone diagram that illustrates the causal relationships between inputs and outputs. Organizations should segment root causes into people, process, technology, culture and measurement issues to facilitate solution identification and communication.

Persistently asking “Why?” is instrumental to ensuring the integrity of marketing data. Organizations must ruthlessly analyze the root causes of data issues rather than simply treat their symptoms. This analysis can take the form of the “five whys,” which can be displayed as a fishbone diagram to aid the strategy and prioritization of remediation. In this report, we discuss how to use the five whys method to reveal and visualize root causes and get at the heart of data issues.

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