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Data Quality Assurance: Part 1 - Goals, Structure, and Methods
January 2010
Jack Olson

A data quality assurance program is an explicit combination of organization, methodologies, and activities that exist for the purpose of reaching and maintaining high levels of data quality. The term assurance puts it in the same category as other functions corporations are used to funding and maintaining. Quality assurance, quality control, inspection, and audit are terms applied to other activities or products at a high level of excellence. Data quality assurance should take place alongside these others, with the same expectations.

Just as we demand high quality in our manufactured products, in our financial reports, in our information systems infrastructure, and in other aspects of our business, we should demand it from our data.

This two-part-series describes the basic elements of a data quality assurance program. Part 1 focuses on the program's goals, structure and methods. Part 2, to be published later this year, will focus on data quality assurance activities.