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What is Data Quality?

By   /  November 20, 2017  /  No Comments

data qualityData Quality (DQ) as stated in the DAMA International, Data Management Book of Knowledge “Refers to both the characteristics associated with … and to the processes used to measure or improve the quality of data.”

Data is considered high quality to the degree it is fit for the purposes data consumers want to apply it. It meets their explicit and implicit business requirements. Since expectations about Data Quality are not always verbalized and known, an ongoing discussion is needed. Data Quality depends on context and the Data Consumer’s needs.

Data Quality often has the following dimensions:

  • Accuracy
  • Completeness
  • Consistency
  • Integrity
  • Reasonability
  • Timeliness
  • Uniqueness/ Deduplication
  • Validity
  • Accessibility

Other Definitions of Data Quality Include:

  • “Fit for a purpose. Meets the requirements of its authors, users and administrators.” (adapted from Martin Eppler) (Peter Aiken)
  • “Synonymous with Information Quality.” (Peter Aiken)
  • “Reliance on accuracy, consistency and completeness of data to be useful across the enterprise.” (Michelle Knight, DATAVERSITY®)
  • Tools and processes used for: (Gartner)
    • Parsing and standardization
    • Generalized “cleansing”
    • Matching
    • Profiling
    • Monitoring
    • Enrichment
  • Strong-Wang framework: (Wang, and Strong, MIT and DAMA DMBOK)
    • Intrinsic DQ
      • Accuracy
      • Objectivity
      • Believability
      • Reputation
    • Contextual DQ
      • Value-added
      • Relevancy
      • Completeness
      • Appropriate amount of data
    • Representational DQ
      • Interpretability
      • Ease of understanding
      • Representational consistency
      • Concise representation
    • Accessibility DQ
      • Accessibility
      • Access Security

A Few Uses of Data Quality are:

  • Increase the value of organizational data and the opportunities to use it.
  • Reducing risk and cost associated with poor quality data.
  • Improving organizational efficiency and productivity.
  • Protecting and enhancing the organizations reputation.
  • Data Profiling.
  • Data Standardization.
  • Data Monitoring.
  • Data Cleansing.


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About the author

Michelle Knight enjoys putting her information specialist background to use by writing technical articles on enhancing Data Quality, lending to useful information. Michelle has written articles on W3C validator for SiteProNews, SEO competitive analysis for the SLA (Special Libraries Association), Search Engine alternatives to Google, for the Business Information Alert, and Introductions on the Semantic Web, HTML 5, and Agile, Seabourne INC LLC, through AboutUs.com. She has worked as a software tester, a researcher, and a librarian. She has over five years of experience, contracting as a quality assurance engineer at a variety of organizations including Intel, Cigna, and Umpqua Bank. During that time Michelle used HTML, XML, and SQL to verify software behavior through databases Michelle graduated, from Simmons College, with a Masters in Library and Information with an Outstanding Information Science Student Award from the ASIST (The American Society for Information Science and Technology) and has a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Smith College. Michelle has a talent for digging into data, a natural eye for detail, and an abounding curiosity about finding and using data effectively.

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