With so many companies moving towards a data-driven culture, collecting and looking at more data points every day, data quality is a term you are going to start hearing more of.
What is Data Quality?
Data Quality means you have data that is accurate, and can also help the decision making process. Data is generally considered high quality if it meets the requirements of its intended use and holds data integrity.
The question you may need to start asking then is – what is the quality of my data? According to Harvard Business Review, on average, 47% of newly-created data records have at least one critical (e.g., work-impacting) error. A statistic like this has to leave you to believe that at least some errors exist in your data.
What is the impact of having poor data quality? More than one factor is easily affected. Every decision you make, from hiring, to bonuses, to company growth, are all tied to the data we see every day. If the data that we interact with each day is inaccurate, we are not able to make the best decisions; or worse, we make the wrong decisions.
Let’s dive deeper into a simple, real-world example that explains the importance of data quality.
In Figure A below, you will see Jack Brady, the lowest rep in terms of revenue. In Figure B, you will see a different story. Jack Brady is really the second rep in terms of revenue. The difference? It was found that Jack’s name was misspelled in our data, and all of his sales figures were not properly attributed to him. Once we fix that data error, we have a much more clear vision of our sales team.
Data Accuracy is just one aspect of Data Quality. We need to ensure that our data is complete and valid. What does that mean? Completeness of data means that all of the required data points are present. Beyond making sure the data is present, we also need to ensure those data points are valid.
How can we ensure data validity? There are many ways. Double-checking the data points through manual intervention is certainly one way. But this is a long and tedious process. Using technology removes the human aspect of data validation. There are some software programs that will setup a set of Data Management rules, and ensure that the data you have follows these rules. Otherwise, there are ways to use database queries to bring all of the relevant data together.
With data accuracy, comes other critical aspects for ensuring data quality. Are you already meeting these credentials, or if not, taking the right steps towards doing so? Consider asking yourself these questions:
- Data Timeliness: Are you able to make decisions based on data that is up-to-date and entered promptly? Dashboards are a great way to ensure the data you are looking at is always updated and available in real-time.
- Data Relevancy: Is your data serving the purpose it was intended to? If it isn’t, what is the data collected actually being used to measure and is it useful to your business?
- Data Completeness: Is your data missing values or records that are necessary for understanding the indications of your entire data set? Are there gaps that would skew future decision making because the data is not reflecting what was expected to be collected?
- Data Consistency: Are you making sure your variables are measured in the same format to be applicable across all situations that those data points are being used? Are you representing each data item in the same format everywhere it is stored?
Data quality is certainly going to become a larger topic of discussion as time goes on, due to the nature of our environment. Part of your job is to ensure that you have all of the data you need to make the correct business decisions. Making sure your data is accurate and valid will be just as valuable as the data itself.
With iDashboards’ most recent partnership with Naveego, Inc., we will be able to provide customers a resource to overcome any data quality challenges that could complicate their ability to report, visualize, and analyze their company’s data.
Interested in taking the right steps towards reaching quality data that is accurate, timely, relevant, complete, and consistent? Contact iDashboards today and see how our solution can help!
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