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Discovering Data Quality Problems

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Existing methodologies for identifying data quality problems are typically user-centric, where data quality requirements are first determined in a top-down manner following well-established design guidelines, organizational structures and data governance frameworks. In the current data landscape, however, users are often confronted with new, unexplored datasets that they may not have any ownership of, but that are perceived to have relevance and potential to create value for them. Such repurposed datasets can be found in government open data portals, data markets and several publicly available data repositories. In such scenarios, applying top-down data quality checking approaches is not feasible, as the consumers of the data have no control over its creation and governance. Hence, data consumers - data scientists and analysts - need to be empowered with data exploration capabilities that allow them to investigate and understand the quality of such datasets to facilitate well-informed decisions on their use. This research aims to develop such an approach for discovering data quality problems using generic exploratory methods that can be effectively applied in settings where data creation and use is separated. The approach, named LANG, is developed through a Design Science approach on the basis of semiotics theory and data quality dimensions. LANG is empirically validated in terms of soundness of the approach, its repeatability and generalizability.


Zhang, Ruojing; Indulska, Marta; Sadiq, Shazia (2019): Discovering Data Quality Problems. Business & Information Systems Engineering: Vol. 61, No. 5. DOI: 10.1007/s12599-019-00608-0. Springer. PISSN: 1867-0202. pp. 575-593