How do you ensure best the reliability of your data collection?


How do you ensure best the reliability of your data


data collection

What is data collection?

Data collection is the process of gathering data for use in business decision-making, strategic planning, research and other purposes. It’s a crucial part of data analytics applications and research projects: Effective data collection provides the information that’s needed to answer questions, analyze business performance or other outcomes, and predict future trends, actions and scenarios.

In businesses, data collection happens on multiple levels. IT systems regularly collect data on customers, employees, sales and other aspects of business operations when transactions are processed and data is entered. Companies also conduct surveys and track social media to get feedback from customers. Data scientists, other analysts and business users then collect relevant data to analyze from internal systems, plus external data sources if needed. The latter task is the first step in data preparation, which involves gathering data and preparing it for use in business intelligence (BI) and analytics applications.

It’s no secret that data is an invaluable asset. It drives analytical insights, provides a better understanding of customer preferences, shapes marketing strategies, drives product or service decisions… the list goes on. Having reliable data cannot be overemphasized. Data reliability is a crucial aspect of data integration architecture that cannot be overlooked. It involves ensuring that the data being integrated is accurate, consistent, up-to-date and has been sent in the correct order.

Failure to ensure data reliability can result in inaccurate reporting, lost productivity, and lost revenue. Therefore, companies should implement measures to verify the reliability of integrated data, such as performing quality checks and data validation, to ensure its reliability and effective usability for decision making.

This article will help you thoroughly understand how to test trustworthy data and how data cleansing tools can improve its trustworthiness. We’ll also discuss the differences between data reliability and data validity, so you know what to look for when dealing with large volumes of information. So, let’s get started and delve into the world of data reliability!

What is data reliability?

Data reliability helps you understand how reliable your data is over time, something that’s especially important when analyzing trends or making predictions based on past data points. It’s not just about the accuracy of the data itself, but also ensuring consistency by applying the same set of rules to all records, regardless of their age or format.

If your business relies on data to make decisions, you need to be confident that the data is reliable and up-to-date. That’s where data reliability comes into play. It’s about determining the accuracy, consistency and quality of your data.

Ensuring that the data is valid  and consistent is important to ensure the reliability of the data. Data validity refers to the degree of accuracy and relevance of the data for its intended purpose, while  data consistency  refers to the degree of uniformity and consistency of the data across various sources, formats, and time periods.

Data reliability


What determines the reliability of data?

Accuracy and precision

The reliability of data depends largely on its accuracy and precision. The accurate data corresponds closely to the actual value of the metric being measured. Accurate data has a high degree of accuracy and consistency.

Data can be precise but not exact, accurate but not exact, neither, or both. The most reliable data is highly accurate and precise.

Collection methodology

The techniques and tools used to collect data have a significant impact on its reliability. Data collected through a rigorous scientific method with controlled conditions will likely be more reliable than data collected through casual observation or self-report. The use of high-quality, properly calibrated measuring instruments and standardized collection procedures also promotes reliability.

Sample size

The number of data points collected, known as the sample size, is directly proportional to reliability. Larger sample sizes reduce the margin of error and allow for greater statistical significance. They make it more likely that the data accurately represents the total population and reduce the effect of outliers. For most applications, a sample size of at least 30 data points is considered the minimum to obtain reliable results.

Data integrity

Trusted data has a high level of integrity, meaning it is complete, consistent, and error-free. Missing, duplicate, or incorrect data points reduce reliability. Performing quality control, validation, cleansing, and duplication checks helps ensure data integrity. The use of electronic data capture with built-in error verification and validation rules also promotes integrity during collection.


The degree of objectivity and lack of bias with which data is collected and analyzed affects its reliability. Subjective judgments, opinions and preconceptions threaten objectivity and should be avoided. Reliable data is collected and interpreted in a strictly unbiased and fact-based manner.

In short, the most reliable data is accurate, precise, scientifically collected with high integrity, has a large sample size, and is analyzed objectively without bias. By understanding what determines reliability, you can evaluate the trustworthiness of data and make well-informed, fact-based decisions.

Linking Reliability and Validity of Data

When it comes to data, it is important to understand the relationship between the reliability and validity of the data. Reliability of data means that it is accurate and consistent and gives you a reliable result, while validity of data means that it is logical, meaningful and precise.

Think of reliability as how close the results are to the true or accepted value, while validity looks at how meaningful the data is. Both are important: reliability gives you accuracy, while validity ensures that it is truly relevant.

The best way to ensure your data is reliable and valid? Make sure you do regular maintenance. Data cleansing can help you achieve this!

Benefits of trusted data

Data reliability refers to the accuracy and precision of the data. For data to be considered reliable, it must be consistent, reliable, and replicable. As a data analyst, it is crucial to consider data reliability for several reasons:

Higher quality information

Reliable data leads to higher quality information and analysis. When data is inconsistent, inaccurate, or irreproducible, any information or patterns found cannot be trusted. This can lead to poor decision making and wasted resources. With reliable data, you can be confident in your insights and feel confident that key findings are meaningful.

Data-driven decisions

Data-driven decisions are based on reliable data. Leaders and managers increasingly rely on data analysis and insights to guide strategic decisions. However, if the underlying data is unreliable, any decision made may be wrong.

Data reliability is key to truly data-driven decision making. When data can be trusted, data-driven decisions tend to be more objective, accurate, and impactful.

Reproducible results

A key characteristic of reliable data is that it produces reproducible results. When data is unreliable, repeating an analysis with the same data may yield different results. This makes the data essentially useless for serious analysis.

With high-quality, reliable data, rerunning an analysis or test will provide the same insights and conclusions. This is important for verifying key findings and ensuring that a single analysis is not an anomaly.

In short, data reliability is essential for any organization that relies on data to shape key business decisions and strategies. By prioritizing data quality and reliability, data can be transformed into a true business asset that drives growth and success. With unreliable data, an organization is operating only on questionable knowledge and gut instinct.

The role of data cleansing in achieving trustworthy data

Data cleansing  plays a key role in ensuring data reliability. After all, if your data is contaminated by errors and inaccuracies, it will be difficult to trust the results you get from your analysis.

Data cleansing generally involves three main steps:

  1. Identify erroneous or inconsistent data  – This involves looking for patterns in the data that indicate erroneous or missing values, such as blank fields or inaccurate records.
  2. Correcting inconsistencies  – This may involve techniques such as data normalization and format standardization, as well as filling in missing information.
  3. Validation of data accuracy.  – Once the data has been cleaned, it is important to validate the results to ensure they meet the accuracy levels you need for your specific use case. Automated data validation tools  can streamline this step.

Data reliability can be difficult to achieve without the right tools and processes. Tools like Astera Centerprise offers several data cleansing tools that can help you get the most out of your data.

Data cleansing


Data trustworthiness is not just about data cleanliness, but rather a holistic approach to data governance. Ensuring data reliability requires business leaders to make a conscious effort, which makes it easier said than done. Data validity tests, redundancy checks, and data cleaning solutions are effective starting points for achieving data reliability.

There are two primary types of data that can be collected: quantitative data and qualitative data. The former is numerical — for example, prices, amounts, statistics and percentages. Qualitative data is descriptive in nature — e.g., color, smell, appearance and opinion.

Organizations also make use of secondary data from external sources to help drive business decisions. For example, manufacturers and retailers might use U.S. census data to aid in planning their marketing strategies and campaigns. Companies might also use government health statistics and outside healthcare studies to analyze and optimize their medical insurance plans.