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Leveraging Data Quality to Improve Institutional Efficiency

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“Leveraging Data Quality to Improve Institutional Efficiency”, that’s a mouthful of big words.  When I was first asked to write on this topic, I thought, “What does that even mean?”  Well, like any good author/engineer, I broke it up into smaller pieces to try and make sense of it.

Leveraging Data Quality to Improve Institutional Efficiency

  1. Leveraging – Using something to gain an advantage or make something better.
  2. Data Quality – “Data quality refers to the level of quality of Data. There are many definitions of data quality but data are generally considered high quality if, “they are fit for their intended uses in operations, decision making and planning.” Tom Redman
  3. Improve – Make something better.
  4. Institutional Efficiency – Accomplish more educating of students with minimum time, effort and cost.

Okay, now we have something we can work with.  The idea is to compile data, but only the best data that will help with finding ways to improve the way a school or college uses its resources to educate the student population.

So, what makes good, high quality data?  According to TechTarget, “data quality is a perception or an assessment of data’s fitness to serve its purpose in a given context. Aspects of data quality include:

  • Accuracy
  • Completeness
  • Update status
  • Relevance
  • Consistency across data sources
  • Reliability
  • Appropriate presentation
  • Accessibility

What security data can be collected and analyzed to make improvements at an educational institution? How will it stand up to the aspects of quality data?  Here are just a few of the pieces of quality security data that a worthy piece of software will collect and present to the right people.

  • Self-service password reset
    • How often
    • Patterns of SSPR use throughout the school year
    • Methods for resetting password without help
  • Authentication Methods
    • 2FA and what type of 2nd factor
    • SSO
    • Password only
  • Login Attempt History
    • Strike activity
    • Lockout activity
    • Self-service unlock

Let’s match our list of data with the aspects of quality data for a good understanding of what it would take for a software security system to provide quality data that can be leveraged to improve your institution’s efficiency.

Software by nature is accurate and complete. When that is combined with the storage of data in a relational database, then accessibility and presentation are covered. A structured query language can rearrange, sort and combine the data in a number of ways to make the data as useful, and readable as possible. The software is configured to constantly store information surrounding self-service and login actions. Having the recording of this relevant data performed through software can guarantee accuracy and completeness. Finally, providing a web interface for easy access to multiple and customizable reports is imperative.

“Leveraging Data Quality to Improve Institutional Efficiency”

Hopefully, this article has shed a little more light on Data Quality at your institution and how the school can benefit from quality data.

Thanks for reading.

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Resources:

(Tom Redman<Redman, T.C. (2008). Data driven: Profiting from your most important business asset (p. 56). Boston, Mass.: Harvard Business Press.>).

http://searchdatamanagement.techtarget.com/definition/data-quality

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Larry Conroy

Author: Larry Conroy

Larry is a Technical Support/Developer here at PistolStar. With a Master’s Degree in Computer Science, he has worked for Raytheon, and then moved on to other corporations, such as Kronos, Axent, and Applied Microsystems. Over the last ten years Larry has specialized in improving and growing the support process, previously and within PistolStar Inc.

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