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    Data quality dimensions: Validity

    In this latest post, we look at one of the DAMA six dimensions of data quality – validity.


    Data are valid if it conforms to the syntax (format, type, range) of its definition


    Comparison between the data and the metadata or documentation for the data item.

    Here we’re looking at whether the data we have is valid or not. For example, we have a person’s title – but is it in our list of valid person title’s? We have a phone number or national insurance (NI) number but are they in the correct (valid) format?

    Infoboss allows validity checks against format/syntax rules such as that required for postcodes, email addresses, bank account numbers and National Insurance numbers. It also allows for custom built rules, like first name validity checks where it must be capitalised “Fred”, potentially double-barrelled “Julie-Anne” and must be more than 2 characters in length.

    It also supports validation lists to ensure that only data values contained in a list or values in a specific range are entered. Using the infoboss data dictionary you are able to setup and maintain these individual validation checks and lists all in one place.

    Infoboss, being search powered can also be used for even more powerful validation checks. For example, it’s possible to validate not just against lists of data that you define, but also against other data sources, either internal system data sets or external ones. For example, infoboss allows you to check whether a postcode is not only in the right format, but also that it’s active in the Postcode Address File (PAF) file or similar. Another external data set might for example be the company house list of companies keyed on company number. Having the company number could help automatically determine if it’s still active for example. The speed of undertaking these lookups using search technology mean that a much greater level of checking can be undertaken at scale without degrading the performance of your application systems.

    Look out for our other posts on the six data quality dimensions.

    To discover more about how infoboss can help support your data quality and data protection initiatives, please get in touch.