Thursday, November 24, 2011

Data Base Management - Basic Ideas for Quality

A database is a reservoir of information that caters to specific interests or knowledge needs of various groups of people and organizations. With the advent and continuous development of computer-based and Internet technologies, many databases are digitally crafted to facilitate storage and retrieval of information. Thus, developing and implementing an efficient database management is essential to daily corporate operations. There are several factors that contribute to such efficiency which is among the crucial elements of investment technology and operations industry best practices.

In "The Essentials of a Database Quality Process" (2003), Dorothy Blakeslee and John Rumble Jr. of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Standard Reference Data Program (SRDP) emphasized that databases should be 'customer-driven' or user-focused, and that these should also provide high quality features and content.The authors also noted that accuracy, correctness, and reliability are primary attributes of data quality.

Data Quality Process - Key Considerations

The NIST-SRDP takes into account several factors that influence database development. These include:
  • Careful planning which considers the contextual and technical nature of the database and its relevance to potential users, including the opportunity to encourage feedback to improve the database system.
  • Good design procedures and programming practices that involve certain formats and standards in terms of how information is presented and the use of source codes and naming schemes, as well as the certainty that data is not lost during the user retrieval process.  
  • Regular meetings with members of the database program team, including database evaluators, are essential in monitoring, reviewing, and improving an organization's database system. 
  • Accurate documentation of the process involved in creating the database that can beused as reference or guide to future actions about the system.

Quality Database Management

An efficient database management evolves from its conceptualization. The initial stages of building a database are critical to ensuring that the database will genuinely serve the interests of its stakeholders, as well as potential clients and other interested parties. Information management may seem to be dealing with texts and technical architecture of how to provide knowledge to a wider public. However, such information is designed to benefit not just the organization that offers such data, but as well as external individual users.

John A. Hoxmeier's "A Framework for Assessing Database Quality" (1997) cites several qualities based on the works of James Martin (1976) and the Southern California Online Users Group (SCOUG). These include attributes include the following:
  • Tailored to the needs of the user
  • Relevant
  • Immediately understandable
  • Recognizable
  • Attractively presented
  • Brief
  • Up-to-date
  • Trustworthy
  • Complete
  • Easily accessible
  • Consistency
  • Coverage/scope
  • Timeliness
  • Value in terms of cost
  • Accuracy/error rate
  • System performance/ease of use
  • Integration with other databases
  • Customer support
Other pointers for implementing a good database management approach are discussed in Veda C. Storey and Richard Y. Wang's "Modeling Quality Requirements in Conceptual Database Design" (1998). Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) offers an array of publications related to information quality. 

No comments: