Why everyone needs to know the implications of looking after data.
What is Data Quality?
Data quality refers to the status of the available information based on accuracy, completeness, and reliability. Consideration of whether the information is up to date also defines data quality. Basically, it allows us to understand how much we can trust in the results of our analytical efforts. COVID-19 has shown us the importance of data quality as we have started communicating in numbers in terms of infections, deaths, recoveries, number of tests administered, infection rates, etc.
Reasons Why Data Quality Is Essential Throughout The COVID-19 Period
The past few months have not fared well for a lot of organisations, businesses, and various individuals. However, the availability of quality data has enabled them to stay informed. This in turn has been the catalyst for steering their operations into new, different, and hopefully, profitable directions.
Data used in various forms of evaluation have played a critical role in determining our actions since the COVID-19 outbreak. The way that data has been collected has also played a crucial role in delivering accurate information to the public. Consideration of the data lifecycle with respect to COVID-19 illustrates the importance of data quality where data vulnerabilities could occur:
- Data collection
- Data collected needs to be 100% accurate and from reliable sources. If not, it will mislead healthcare practitioners, government, and the public
- Some data points have been collected from paper in more remote areas. This opens up opportunity for human error
- Data analysis
- Data analysis needs to comply with stringent standards to ensure it linage is accurate. The same process of analysis needs to be applied every time to ensure the data quality is consistent
- Data sharing
- When data is shared, it needs to be done via a secure, discreet platform that won’t corrupt the information
- Data retention
- Data needs to be kept secure at all times, with limited outside access, except where required by third parties
- Data deletion
- Outdated data needs to be disposed of and replaced with current figures to prevent duplication or misrepresentation of numbers
Benefits Of Maintaining Data Quality
In the instance of COVID-19, some of the benefits of data quality have been keeping the public informed and being able to make educated choices through the use of this data. There are innumerable benefits to maintaining data quality and ensuring the security of your organization, by extension. Some of the more common benefits across multiple industries include:
- More informed decision-making based on data
- Better solutions-driven decisions that are based on predictions or previous examples
- Competitive advantage over businesses that are not using data to its full potential
- Increased profitability due to focusing on what has visibly shown to work
- More effective marketing campaigns based on what customers are receptive to
- Better customer experience and management
Maintaining data quality is in the best interests of any organization. Not sure where to start? Robinson Ryan is here to help your business thrive as a data-driven business.