How to decide if data are suitable for your use
Nature of the data – data properties
- How are the data collected?
- Are they quantitative or qualitative?
- What form do they take (e.g. price, population)?
- What time period and frequency of collection?
- What level of aggregation?
- Are the data adjusted or in raw form?
- What information is collected?
Data quality – fit for purpose
- How well do the data match the concept you wish to measure?
- Are the results reliable?
- How representative are the data?
- What are the levels of completeness, duplication and known sources of error?
Data processing and the provider – provenance
- Who has collected and provided the data?
- Is the organisation independent and authoritative?
- What are the security arrangements governing access?
- Do the data overlap with other similar sources and can they be compared?
- What explanation about the data and commentary are given?
Public value of the data – value to society
- What is the relevance of the data to public debate and private decisions?
- How can you access the data?
- What engagement occurs with users and bodies outside the data provider?
- What burden is there on respondents?
Further information – guide to quality assuring data
Check out the toolkit on quality assuring administrative data.