IG Assets: Data Quality and ISO 8000

Filed under: Assets,Governance,Standards — lenand @ 11:25 pm
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 “Without trusted information government would have to exist on hunch and guesswork.”

The quotation above came from the Eurim report on “Improving the Evidence Base“.  It’s another way of saying that data quality matters.  Quality is an attribute of information assets, a primary dimension in the 7 Dimensional Information Governance framework (7DIG).  The Audit Commission provide the dimensions of data quality as:

  • Accuracy – accurate enough for the intended purpose.
  • Validity – recorded and used incompliance with relevant requirements.
  • Reliability –  reflect stable and consistent data collection processes across collection points and over time.
  • Timeliness – captured as quickly as possible after the event or activity and made available within a reasonable period of time.
  • Relevance – relevant to the purposes for which it is to be used.
  • Completeness – data requirements should be clearly specified based on the information needs of the body, and data collection processes matched to these requirements.

The now defunct Data Connects Forum also commissioned an excellent report on Data Quality Management. It has a framework which inspired the 7DIG framework.  A lot of work went into developing the detailed recommendations and supporting software tools.  However, as with the Eurim report, it is the work of a small group of professionals.  Neither refer to nor comply with any international standard.  ISO standards are produced by a wider body of people over long consultation period.  ISO standards have to be rigorously tested.

ISO 8000 is the Emerging Standard for Data Quality.  It has been many years in gestation with ISO TC184/SC4, the ISO subcommittee that looks after industrial data. However, it has been recognised from the start that this standard could have a much wider usage.  Should the UK Public Sector be interested?  Perhaps the Cabinet Office and LeGSB should keep an eye on progress, in case it could help to improve the quality of shared data.


Martha Lane Fox demands standards

Filed under: Policy,Standards — lenand @ 4:41 am
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One of the notable survivors of the May General Election is Martha Lane Fox.  All parties seem to listen to her every word and she can reach parts of Government that are inaccessible to mere mortals.  In addition to championing digital inclusion, she should be thanked for publishing recommendations for DirectGov and “how efficiencies can best be realised through the online delivery of public services.” There are lots of good recommendations, but from previous experience one seems highly counter-cultural, standards:

The CEO for Digital should also have the controls and powers to direct set and enforce standards across government departments in areas such as:

  • Technical standards: including APIs, data models and security;
  • Content standards: including format, taxonomy, meta-tagging and rules for syndication partners;
  • Design standards: including usability, accessibility and look and feel
  • Process standards: including content creation, content review processes, SLA and partner processes;
  • Customer standards: including feedback, consultation, insight, analytics, segmentation and registration.”

Don’t think this is self-evident, because the Standards body in central government was demolished at least five years ago.  What a backward step.   There’s still a whiff of a moribund e-GIF panel, but the last document was published in 2005.

Local government manfully struggles on (with one man) in the form of LeGSB, but with very little practical support.  LeGSB can only look at a miniscule sub-set of standards requirements.

How come it needs a personality to remind the Government about the absolute need for standards. Quality is Free is celebrating its 25th anniversary and nothing has changed from “Make a commitment to a standard, communicate it, recognize performance, and then recycle.

Please Martha, sort them out.

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