Data Quality: Step 1: The thin end of the wedge


For those who came in late my last post was on the idea of data quality and some really simple things you can do to make your work, and of lesser importance, others work easier (only kidding). The first time people think and in many cases cuss about this topic is when they receive data from a supplier (either internal or external) and it does not meet their standards. Some of the things that can be easily checked. As mentioned in my earlier post, Coordinate System is important and easy to check. The next is to check overlay, does the new data look right when placed over data you already have and are confident of.

Now we get onto the crux of this post, what was the agreement when you requested the data.

  1. How many features do you expect?
  2. Are all the fields expected to be filled out?
  3. What fields were you expecting?

These are easy to inspect using ArcCatalog but they are not always the foremost in our mind when we request data. If you have checked the data and it does not meet requirements you should be able to request the changes. BUT is that in the agreement? This puts a pressure on the timeliness of your checks. To make this easier there are 2 paths you can go down. Buy software which will run the checks you want, or write a model to pass over the data. If you want to check for NULL values or inconsistent values using the Frequency tool is a good way, as it provides a simple calculation for the number of values for the key fields


Some other tools that may be interesting are Check Geometry, Repair Geometry and, in my opinion the pick of the crop, GIS Data Reviewer. In coming blogs I will go into some other options for data quality

Have Fun, Christopher B

This entry was posted in General and tagged , on by .

About Christopher B

I have been with the company as a Senior Consultant for nearly 4 years, workin in both the Desktop and Database teams for support, training and services. I am am also the advocate for Quality Assurance and Quality Control within the Esri framework, as well as a Prodtion Mapping specialist. Currently I am working with database support and training. Specialties ArcGIS, Editing Techniques, ArcGIS Server, ArcSDE, ArcGIS Desktop, ArcGIS Mobile, ArcPad, ESRI, Survey Techniques, QAQC, Production Mapping, Defense Mapping, Workflow Manager

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