What is Data Integrity?
Data integrity refers to maintaining and ensuring data accuracy and consistency over its entire life cycle. It can also be used to describe the state of your data—for instance, whether it is valid or invalid. The term “data integrity” should not be confused with data security, as the latter primarily focuses on data protection, and the former is concerned with data trustworthiness.
There are a few primary attributes of data integrity. These include accuracy, completeness, and consistency, and these characteristics are essential to determining data reliability and how it can be used.
But why is data integrity so important, and how can it be maintained?
Why is Data Integrity Important?
Data integrity can help eliminate old or inaccurate data and free up storage for newer data. By minimizing or removing incomplete records, you can improve the performance of your database.
What’s more, maintaining reliable data can enable you to perform more reliable analyses, which is key to making informed business decisions. Using the wrong data set can have disastrous consequences for your business.
Further, data integrity can help employees access data when and where they need it. While data integrity is different from data security, the two often tie into each other, and maintaining data integrity is critical to maintaining data security. But perhaps most importantly, data integrity can ensure the quality of products and services.
How Do You Maintain Data Integrity?
There are many ways to maintain data integrity, and here are a few of the most common.
Perform Data Cleaning and Maintenance
Low-quality or incomplete data can significantly impact your data as a whole. Businesses should implement a data cleansing strategy to identify and correct (or remove) errors. To take things a step further, you might consider an approach that will allow you to improve your data’s health over time continually.
Encrypt Your Data
Data encryption can be used to maintain data integrity in that it prevents unauthorized users from viewing your data even if they have access to it. This can help ensure the quality and accuracy of your data and prevent others from altering it.
Utilize a Single Data Source
Many businesses have data scattered all over the place, but using a single-sourced data warehouse can help you improve your data integrity. When using several different systems, numbers and other bits of information can become disorganized, but if you’re pulling data from a single source, you can better ensure reliability and consistency.
Perform Data Validation
Errors tend to occur more frequently when manual data entry methods are used. However, by setting validation rules, you can control the data values entered into the system. This can help reduce, if not eliminate, inaccurate data analytics.
How Do You Minimize the Risks of Data Integrity?
Data integrity is crucial, but it also comes with its share of risks. It’s not uncommon for businesses to experience data breaches due to improper data management methods. Thankfully, many of these issues can be avoided by minimizing the risks associated with data integrity.
First, it’s essential to promote a culture of data integrity. Laying this foundation from the start can help employees get accustomed to data integrity practices and encourage them to report instances in which data maintenance is compromised. You can also implement quality control measures to reduce risk, as these can help monitor security systems for data integrity. Further, eliminating security vulnerabilities can help minimize risks related to protecting data assets.
You might also consider implementing error detection software, which can help catch errors, provide information on why they occurred, and advise you on ways to avoid them in the future.
Teksetra Can Help With Your Outsourcing Needs!
There’s no doubt about it—maintaining data integrity is essential to the health of your data and the overall success of your business. But keeping up with data demands can be challenging, not to mention time-consuming.
Teksetra is here to help with that.
With Teksetra’s flexible outsourcing program, you get all the support your business needs right at your fingertips. We have operationalized outsourcing to manage every aspect of your project professionally, acting as an extension of your team and providing the tech and resources your business needs to get more work done. With Teksetra, you get access to decades of tech expertise, proven project management capabilities, and more.
By outsourcing your data integrity needs to Teksetra you will gain access to a number of benefits, including staff supplementation, technical support, and security training. Reach out today to learn more about Teksetra’s services and how we can help you manage your data integrity practices!
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