Data Validation Testing – Your Data Report Card
For those of you with school age kids, you have probably already received your childrens’ report cards. When was the last time you saw a report card for your data? Data validation testing enables you to get insight into the quality of your data assets. And, like report cards at school, you should grade your organization on a regular basis to monitor your progress.
If you are testing your data, it is important to set both the metrics you are going to test, as well as the goals and next steps to drive improvements.
When performing data validation testing, you should look at several metrics:
1) Completeness – Is the data in your databases and applications complete? That is, do all of the fields contain data or are some blank?
2) Validity- Are the fields formatted correctly as valid values for that particular field type? For example, do email addresses conform to the formats specified in RFC 5322?
3) Verified – Is the data verified correct? For example, is the address a deliverable postal address?
4) Accuracy and correctness – Is the data accurate for the record? That is, does the name and address in your systems match the current name and address for that individual or business?
5) Distribution – How are the same records distributed across your CRM, ERP, Marketing Automation, and other platforms and are they synchronized between systems? Unsynchronized and non-consistent data is one of the primary drivers for Master Data Management (MDM) initiatives.
Prior to starting your data validation test, you should decide on the concrete next steps that you will take to improve your data. For example, prior to testing data completeness, you should determine how important it is to make your data complete, and how you will resource any areas you wish to improve. Like most testing activities, the end goal should be to drive actions.
What does you data validation report card look like? Do you have straight A’s or do you need improvement? Let us know, we would like to hear from you. Drop us an email at email@example.com or give us a call at 919.467.4545.