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Improving Data Warehouse and Business Information Quality: Methods for Reducing Costs and Increasing Profits by Larry P. English

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CHAPTER 2

Defining Information Quality

“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”

–MARGARET HUNGERFORD IN MOLLY BAUN

Before one can measure and improve information quality, one must be able to define it in ways that are both meaningful and measurable.

Information quality is defined in this chapter—what it is and what it is not. In order to understand information quality, data and information and their key concepts must be defined. Knowledge and wisdom are also defined, because this is where information impacts business performance, and where nonquality information can harm that performance.

In defining information quality, we differentiate between inherent and pragmatic information quality. Essentially, inherent quality is the correctness of facts; pragmatic quality is the correctness of the right facts presented correctly. Chapter 2 concludes with defining the three components required for information quality: data definition and information architecture quality, data content quality, and data presentation quality.

What Is Quality?

The best way to look at information quality is to look at what quality means in the general marketplace and then translate what quality means for information. As consumers, human beings consciously or subconsciously judge the “quality” of things in their experience. A conscious application of quality measurement is when a person compares products in a store and chooses one of them as the “right” product. “Right” here means selecting the product that best ...

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