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Data quality is KING in business intelligence

The whole point of business intelligence is to use data to drive better decisions and outcomes. Thus, users and SMEs need to trust that the data is accurate and up-to-date. At Coherent Solutions we go to great lengths to assure that kind of quality in every data warehouse we build.

When talking about quality assurance in BI, creating test plans and cases comes immediately to mind – particularly for vulnerable bottlenecks like the ETL process. Every QA and developer knows these plans and cases must be created to validate and ensure accuracy of the ETL process at every stage of the project lifecycle. But we want to go deeper here to cover the logical concepts that are the cornerstones for delivering high quality data in a warehouse.

Distribution of QA activities during integration project’s lifecycle

Distribution of QA activities during integration project’s lifecycle_CoherentSolutions

Data verification and cleansing

Integrating multiple data sources into one reliable resource is one of the major reasons for building a data warehouse. But combining data from multiple sources introduces issues such as semantic conflicts, data capturing and synchronization. The biggest testing challenge at this point is in understanding the nature of different data sources and verifying whether all this data from heterogeneous systems is properly fed into the underlying tables. Following verification, we move into data cleaning. Data cleaning can be done in multiple ways, but at Coherent Solutions we believe that performing data profiling is one of the best. Through data profiling we analyze the existing data, clarify its structure and content, look for anomalies, eliminate duplicate records, and apply consistent rules to all of it. This assures that the database is built on a solid foundation of reliable and consistent information.

Data integration and aggregation

Having expertly profiled the disparate data from various sources, it can be integrated into new entities and columns. Now we can aggregate and store the summarized data to enhance the business’s analysis and reporting capabilities.

At Coherent Solutions we can tap into our experience with BI systems to help clients define which aggregates are preferred, providing examples as well as practical implementation and testing.

During this crucial step users and designers decide:

What types of data will allow proper and complete analysis
Which data will be needed for future reports

Data loading

After successfully verifying, cleaning, integrating and aggregating the data it is ready to load into the data warehouse. At this stage we compare expectations with results through source-to-target testing. By applying our best QA practices at every stage, Coherent Solutions is able to assure the best results and highest level of trust to any BI system.

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