Quality – data, information & visibility (original post: August 28, 2011)

I am struggling with how to make a clear distinction between data quality, information quality and visibility quality. Oh, maybe there should not be any distinction – the quality is all have the same underpinning attributes such as accuracy, timeliness, completeness, currency, etc. The distinction rests only in the context – data, information and visibility. Of course, some of you may ask why not data, information, knowledge and wisdom. Well, I am trying to get there but at this point, without a collective thinking that is firm and normative. Hopefully, I will reach that point. Let’s get back to the context.

The context points back why quality matters and in what way. With data quality, we are talking about if the data becomes information, how accurate would the information be in the context it is being used? There are two views: Is there a one-to-one mapping with some degree of degradation, from data to information? does the quality of one data contributes to the overall information quality when the information is based on multiple data sources? Because we assume here the attribute ‘accuracy’ is used to describe both the quality of data and information – accurate data implies accurate information. If so, I am done here. To gain accurate visibility quality, I need to ensure data quality is accurate – with the assumption data leads to information to visibility.

Yet, we would not use the word ‘visibility’ to talk about information completeness within a corporation. We are biased in that we view ‘visibility quality’ is affected by information from multiple sources and these sources are not singular. I believe information quality affects visibility quality. Yet the effect is measured based on the value of the visibility. The visibility in a supply chain includes information from more than one party. The value of the visibility lies with who is viewing and what information (not quality yet) is available. Oh, now I use the word ‘value’ not ‘quality’. Are they interchangeable in our discussion?and

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