The Great Data Debate - Do data quality dimensions have a place in assessing data quality?

Thursday 20 June 2013, 10.00am - 4.00pm


When assessing the quality of data, one topic which can generate much debate relates to the 'dimensions' of data quality. There are a multiplicity of names for data quality dimensions, which are likely to lead to confusion by business stakeholders, indeed, some industry experts argue strongly that dimensions should not be a part of data quality assessment.

This event demonstrated different views on data quality dimensions and their role in assessing data quality. It was also the official launch of a White Paper produced by DAMA (UK) with contributions from experts across a range of industries. The event videos are available here and the presentations are available on our SlideShare site.


1 - Defining Data Quality Dimensions - DAMA

For the past year DAMA UK has been running a Data Quality Dimensions Working Group. A diverse group of experienced practitioners, users and vendors have worked together, to draft six standard data quality dimensions. These have now been published in a white paper and you are invited to join members of the working group at this workshop to:

  • Review the standard dimensions in the white paper
  • Join the debate on their suitability
  • Contribute your feedback to the further development of this approach

2 - Danger in Dimensions - Kenneth MacKinnon , Lloyds Banking Group

Data Quality Dimensions are in many ways a useful tool but are there times when they are less useful than we might think?

3 - ISO 8000: Systemic and systemic data quality - Tim King, LSC Group

ISO/TC184/SC4 (Industrial Data) adopted a formal work programme on data quality in 2006, founding a new working group, WG13. Since that time, the working group has discovered the wide potential scope of the topic. However, the involvement of more than 150 experts worldwide has enabled the publishing of the initial parts of ISO 8000 for data quality. The current development work includes that looking at data quality dimensions but is also addressing how organizations take an enterprise-level, holistic view of the root causes and impacts of data quality. A multi stranded approach ultimately ensures organizations take the right decisions by using data that meet requirements. These decisions enable organizations to deliver their overall mission.

4 - Using automated data profiling and quality tools - James Phare, Data to Value, Mark Hodson, X88

Presentation of the benefits gained from the use of data profiling tools. Includes practical demonstration.

5 - Dimensions as part of overall Data Quality Management - Dylan Jones, Data Quality Pro

In this discussion Dylan Jones explores the different categories of dimensions and provides some examples of how they can be implemented and utilised across a data quality management framework. The discussion illustrates how dimensions have a practical application and benefit to all data quality initiatives.

6 - Panel debate

To round off the event, all speakers took part in a lively panel debate which further explored the use of data quality dimensions as a key part of managing data quality.

About the speakers:

Kenneth MacKinnon in many ways personifies data quality as most people call him Kenny and a lot of his email goes to the wrong person. He's worked in many roles over his 15 year career in IT and is currently an Information Architect for Lloyds Banking Group where he divides his time between Data Quality and Insurance Data Architecture.

Dr. Timothy King has worked on many different projects since joining LSC Group in 1998. This work has been for customers such as Thales, Shell, Rolls Royce, the UK Government and NATO. Typically, the projects have considered some aspect of the support network for complex, high value assets. He has developed an international profile as convener of the ISO working group that is developing ISO 8000 for Data Quality. Tim is the senior manager for 35 individuals who provide expertise in information and knowledge management. He is a Chartered Engineer, Chartered IT Professional and Fellow of both the IMechE and British Computer Society.

James Phare, Data to Value, has over 10 years experience of working in various data centric roles on both the Buy and Sell sides of Financial Services. After graduating in Economics and Economic History at the University of York James started his career at Reuters before joining Man Group in 2007 within Operations and Investment Management. Within the Business and Technology functions as Head of Data Architecture and later Head of Information Management James delivered and led a variety of group-wide data initiatives.  He is passionate about using the latest tools and techniques to bridge the gap between 'the business' and technology to achieve effective Information Management.

Dylan Jones is the founder and editor of Data Quality Pro, a global community resource dedicated to helping organisations and professionals create successful projects and careers in Data Quality, Data Governance and MDM.