Quality of information and data

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  • Created by: Jasmin
  • Created on: 03-05-13 18:20

Evaluating data for fitness for purpose

Fitness for purpose - data is suitable for doing the job for which it was collected

May not be fit for purpose if:

  • Too few items of data
  • Not collecting the right data

Evaluating data for accuracy: (Inaccurate if):

  • Making data up
  • Data is missing
  • Mistakes when collecting the data

Evaluating the data for bias: Bias - preference towards a particular result

  • Not taking representative sample
  • Prompting a certain answer - asking questions in a way that might be prompting person to give a certain answer
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Accuracy and plausibility

Evaluating and questioning accuracy and plausibility of information:

  • Is the source reliable?
  • Spelling mistakes?
  • Reasonable?
  • How was the data collected?

Ensuring accuracy/plausibility of information:

  • Getting more people to read the work
  • Proof read the work
  • Use spelling and grammar checkers

Limitations of spelling and grammar checkers:

Spellchecker - program, found with most packages that process text, checks spelling in document and suggests correctly spelt words

Grammar checker - software that checks a doucment for grammatical errors and suggests corrections

Check sentences end with only one full stop, capital letters, common errors

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How errors can occur:

  • transcription (error made when typing in data using a document as the source of the data
  • input
  • processing
  • transmission
  • transposition (error made when characters are swapped around so they are in the wrong order)
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Data validation

Validation is a check performed by a computer program during data entry. Process that ensures that data accepted for processing is sensible and reasonable

Validation checks - checks a developer of a solution sets/creates, using the software in order to restrict the data that a user can enter, so as to reduce errors

DATA TYPE CHECKS - data being entered is the same type as the data type specified for the field

PRESENCE CHECKS - make sure data has been entered into a field

RANGE CHECKS - performed on numbers, number entered within a certain range

LOOK UP LISTS - when enter data, software looks through list of data until it finds a match along with other important data

FORMAT CHECKS - performed on codes to mkae sure they conform to the correct combination of characters

CHECK DIGITS - numbers are placed at the end of the block of numbers and are used to check that the numbers have been entered correctly into the computer

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Continued and data verification

Restricting the user to a list:

  • prevents user from entering data that is not on a list
  • appropriate when only a small number of checks

Data Verification


VISUAL CHECK/ PROOF READING: involves one user carefully reading what they have typed in and comparing it with what is on the data source for any error

DOUBLE ENTRY OF DATA: same data source used to enter the details into ICT system twice and only if the two sets of data are identical will be accepted for processing

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