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Assessing the Quality of your Data: How it’s Done

February 19, 2018Category : Blog
Assessing the Quality of your Data: How it’s Done

Last Updated on by Jacob Koshy

Data has attained an immense level of importance for companies operating in diverse industry verticals. Businesses from all over the world are recognizing how the right set of data available at the right time makes insight generation, decision making, and strategy planning much easier. It is clear that the ease of availability is not the only differentiating factor in modern world data collection. The quality of data holds the same level of importance.

The performance of any business depends on how trustworthy their data are. According to a research, about 52% of businesses all over the world find untrusted data risky for their business. The same report also says that 51% of businesses blame low quality data for the decrease in customer loyalty. This shows why quality assessment of data should be a priority for any business operating in current scenarios.

But before you learn to assess your data, it is important to understand what qualities you need to look for in your data.

What are the parameters of high-quality data?

Here is a full picture of what qualities your data should have in order to become trustworthy for decision-making.

1. The completeness of the data

The first and the foremost parameter you need to care about is the completeness of the available data. Any information is only valuable when you are able to see the complete picture. The importance of completeness further increases when you are collecting technical data such as the name of your customers and clients, email addresses and others.

Having complete data saves you from concerns, confusions, and non-compliance when you are working on your strategies.

2. The standard of the data

The available data should have a certain level of standard, depending on the goals you have in mind. Assessing your data in terms of your own quality standards validates its applicability and usefulness. You can believe in your data if it has the validity that helps your business.

3. The uniqueness of the data

Every entry in the data set should be unique. This way, you don’t have to worry about repetitiveness in your data, which saves from unnecessary editing. Also, a unique entry in your data set is valuable when you desire to compare different sets together. Duplicate entries can cause serious problems while analyzing the data.

4. The accuracy of the data

Accuracy is probably the most important parameter for any set of data collection. The judgment of accuracy is achieved by mapping the data against the real world scenarios. So, if the data set is supposed to inform about customers, you need to test the data with respect to real customers.

Similarly, if the data informs about products or services, then, its accuracy is decided by how effectively it justifies actual products and services of the same kind.

5. The lifetime of the data

Almost every data set comes with an expiry date. The time changes its level of importance and applicability. Your job is to find out the extent of effect a data set can face due to time. So, if you launch a new product or gain higher sales, it can change the associated data, which affects the accuracy of the previously collected data. Hence, the time should also be an important parameter while assessing the quality of the data.

6. The consistency of the data

The consistency factor decides how easy it is going to be to read and analyze data. The consistency depends on the formatting of the data you collect. This also includes factors such as the language, spelling, and others in the data sets you create. The assessment of the data should include consistency tests for currency, country, and other associated factors.

How to assess and manage data for your business?

Controlling data quality in your business is your responsibility as an owner. Sure you can hire a team to do the job for you. But it is critically necessary that you involve yourself in data assessment and management.

Here are all the steps you can leverage to assess the accuracy, quality, validity, and other aspects of valuable data.

Step – 1: Define objectives of your business aligned with data availability

You can start by looking at the business objectives of your enterprise. Your objectives give you the direction towards analyzing the available data. Knowing what you want will help you set some golden standards for the data quality. Otherwise, data quality stays just a simple term.

Your job is to make a list of business objectives and associated data requirements. These objectives can include marketing, conversions, lead generation, service tracking, communication, and others. For every objective, you should be able to define a certain set of data required.

For instance, if your business objective is to market your brand, then, the data set should include email, phone, addresses, client names and others. Similarly, you can align multiple other business objectives with data necessities.

Step – 2: Verify available data under quality attributes

This step is all about data analysis for the verification. As you already know your objectives, it will be easier to verify the quality of the data. However, you need to consider all the parameters mentioned previously.

So, when you diagnose your data, include all the quality attributes such as completeness, uniqueness, consistency, and others. You can even add specific attributes according to your business goals.

This verification will help you detect the inaccuracies, duplicates, and gaps between the data sets. Which leads to the next step. But before that, you should know that manual verification takes a lot of time. Hence, it would be logical if you leverage automated data verification services to make the process quicker.

Step – 3: Fix the issues with your data sets

Now, you can work on the rectification process of the available data. The step includes resolving the inaccuracies and fixing the gap issues in your data. This way, you can take your data to higher accuracy and quality levels. Your team needs to divide the rectification process into different chunks. Then, collect the right information and replace them with the wrong or unavailable data.

Step – 4: Repeat data assessment time to time

You have complete and high-quality data available. But as mentioned earlier, it is not going to be as effective in the future as it is now. So, you need to implement the available data for now, but repeat the assessment process in a periodic manner.

You can define data assessment periods according to your annual business strategies. This way, data assessment will take place time to time without harming your ongoing business functions.

What do you achieve with data quality assessment?

Your ability to make decisions and offer services and support to your clients and customers depends on data quality. Having a continuous availability and assurance of data quality saves you from risky strategies. With that, you find a few amazing benefits that help in growing your business in the market.

1. Quick business processes

Knowing you have accurate data, it becomes possible to make decisions much faster than general. And that fastness is what makes you reliable for your stakeholders and offers a competitive edge in your market. Your clients start getting a quicker response to their requests, which makes your services more approachable.

2. Efficiency in customer service

No matter which product you sell out there, the customer service is the biggest parameter for your successful existence. Your business is valuable to a customer only when you offer quick and quality customer service. And that includes resolving their problems whenever they ask.

But you can’t do much if the available data is not helpful. The correct information about the customers, their contacts and others are important when you want to respond efficiently. Achieving that gives you the opportunity to safeguard the position you have attained in the market.

3. Improved marketing

Data comes into the picture in every step of marketing. From planning a strategy to implementing it, you need high-quality accurate data for every decision. The analysis of data allows you to predict the market trends and create an appropriate strategy. But if the data itself is incomplete or very old, then, all your planning goes in vain, which can cost a lot of money and reputation.

Similarly, successful implementation of a marketing plan depends on the accuracy of data you have. The names, addresses, emails, and other data sets should be complete and correct if you don’t want to waste time and money making wrong decisions.

4. Protection from non-compliance

Wrong data can lead to non-compliance risks in certain cases. The government rules and regulations related data, customer’s security demands and other informational pieces are extremely important to comply with the regulations. And only the data assessment can ensure you about the quality of data you have.

All the mentioned benefits are achievable when you obtain correct data and assess them regularly. Every decision, every strategy and every function in your business depends on some kind of data. So, assessing that data is always a wise move for your business.

So, now you have a clear view of how data quality is achieved by assessment. Choose valuable resources to ensure the correctness of the assessment process. Try to achieve quality in an efficient period of time. This way, you will find a sustainable method of assessing data quality.


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