Data Integrity: Bad Data Can Lead You Down The Wrong Path

Posted by on Mar 20, 2012 in Lean Six Sigma | 0 comments

Over the years I’ve noticed that people have the tendency to use any data they have when working on a project.  It’s easy to take the data that already exists, do some analysis, develop a hypothesis, and thinking you’re on your way to solving a problem.  Using existing data is quicker and cheaper than gathering new data.

But there are some caveats that must be considered before you go on your merry way when you use existing data.  Is the data in a form you can use?  How long ago was the data collected?  Have any conditions changed significantly since they were collected?  How was the data collected?  Was it done consistently?  Was the data collected using procedures consistent with operational definitions?  Was a MSA done on the measuring system and what were the results?

Lean Six Sigma practitioners need to take care whenever they use data, whether it is new data or existing data.  Organizations are relying on these trained experts to use data that allow them to make correct decisions and solve problems.  Make sure the data you use doesn’t lead you down the wrong path.

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