Data quality can be defined as the usefulness of any data as information. Any raw data has to be processed and made into a knowledge base. Once the data is processed its quality has to be assessed. How do we evaluate or assess a particular database? The basic objective of the company is always taken as a reference and tested with the data to see if it is suitable for the intended purpose.
Some of the following methods are used for assessing data quality:
- Data changes can be studied using baseline analysis
- Checking for data overlapping or duplication
- Comparing Key of one table to column of other table
- Check one column at a time
- Cross check column to rows
Data quality assessment starts with first checking for the structure and content of the data. This is followed by the detailed analysis. During the analysis of the data quality usually many inferences are made. This is the time to improve the data quality. Every time some inferences are made, they are again checked and reviewed. Decisions are made as to whether the inferences are to be accepted or not.
After the data is assessed a final data assessment report is made that is a professional document that offers insight and solutions. The quality report reports about the level of quality of the existing data. The reasons for lower level of quality is high lighted and it also includes suggestions or plans to improve the quality of the data base in the future.
A challenging area like medical informatics where the quality of data is determined by the medical records and its concordance between computers based record and a reference standard is to be noted. This critical data is re used to take clinical decisions and for further research. Currently there is a need for research to develop better language structures for perfectly representing clinical phenomena and reducing medical errors.
Managed Outsource Solutions is a US based global outsource provider that offers a range of data entry, data quality assessment services, data processing, data cleansing and data mining services for clients within and outside the USA.