Improve Data Quality with a Five Step Approach

Tuesday Mar 23rd 2010 by DatabaseJournal.com Staff

Having clean data helps organizations make good business decisions. If your data contains errors then than any decision made using the bad data are suspect to also being bad decisions. You need to understand what causes poor data quality and the steps you should take to improve your organizations data quality.

Every organization collects and stores data.  The quality of that data is only as good as the edits in the applications that collect the data.  Poor quality data leads to many things including additional cost to your corporation.   In order to ensure data quality you need to understand why your applications create bad data, and then take the necessary steps to improve the quality of your data.

Identifying that your organization has data that is inconsistent and inaccurate is the first step in improving the quality of your data, but additional steps are needed to clean up that bad data.  You also need to define the business rules that your data must meet, and a measurement mechanism by which you measure the quality of your data.  Once you've identified why your applications are collecting dirty data you can design, build, and implement processes that will improve the quality of your data.  After you have implemented a data cleanup process, you need to reassess the quality of your data.  When these follow-on data quality assessments identify poor quality data, then you need to repeat the analysis and process of cleaning your data, to fine-tune the quality of your data. 

This white paper discusses five steps you should take to improve data quality.  Each of the steps is described in detail, and helps provide you with a better understanding of an approach to cleaning up poor quality data.  Help guide your organization's data quality improvement efforts by understanding these five steps to improve data quality.

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