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Data Quality Assurance: Part 2 - Activities
April 2010
Jack Olson

The first article in this two-part series discussed the goals of a data quality assurance program, its structure and its two primary analysis approaches: the inside-out method, and the outside-in method.

The inside-out method starts with analyzing the data. A rigorous examination using data profiling technology is performed over an existing database. Data quality problems are identified through this process and further analyzed together to generate a set of data issues for subsequent resolution.

The outside-in method looks for issues in the business, not the data. It identifies facts that suggest that data quality problems are having an impact on the business. It looks for rework, returned merchandise, customer complaints, lost customers, delays in getting information products produced, and so on.

This article describes the three primary data quality assurance activities, focusing on the IT domain.