I received the following email in my inbox this morning, inviting me to attend the first ISO 8000 data quality conference. Looking at the membership directory for this group, I’m not at all surprised that NASA, NOAA, NCDC, NWS, GISS and others are not members, given the mess that the surface data set is in.
But this is exactly what is needed, better data quality control. We have ISO 9000 all over private industry, to make sure that products meet or exceed quality specifications. Yet even though our government has the Data Quality Act (DQA) which is supposed to cover things like climate data, the simple fact is that it is not enforced. And even when it is questioned, such as I did last year sending a letter to NASA regarding DQA issues, (twice) it was simply ignored.
If climatologists want people to trust the data they gather and present, having an ISO 8000 certification would go a long way towards providing assurance. Given that entire economies will be affected by policy based on climate data that has been presented, wouldn’t it make sense to at least hold it to the same quality standard as private industry now embraces voluntarily? – Anthony
ECCMA is holding the first ISO 8000 data quality conference in Battle Creek, Michigan the home town of the Defense Logistics Information Service (DLIS). With a packed two day agenda that includes over twenty government and industry speakers the conference is focused on the challenges and the rewards of developing and managing data quality. The conference is preceded on Tuesday October 14th by an ECCMA ISO 8000:110-2008 Master Data Quality Manager Certification course.
What differentiates success from failure is more often than not the quality of the data. Just ask those in the NASA control room on September 23, 1999 when they realized the loss of the $125 million Mars Climate Orbiter, or any business large or small about the “mistakes” that plague them almost on a daily basis; in the final analysis it is truly “all about the data” or rather all about the quality of the data.
A committee of the International Organization for Standardization better known as ISO has risen to the challenge to develop an international standard that defines what is and what is not “quality data”. The first part in the ISO 8000 series is a foundational standard for master data, the data that describes individuals, organizations, locations, goods and services.
ISO 8000-110:2008 defines the basic requirements that need to be met for master data to be considered quality master data and of course if it is not “quality data” then it clearly must be something else. Unlike many other quality standards ISO 8000-110:2008 specifically deals with those aspects of data quality that can easily be checked by a simple computer program. When a company claims that the data they are sending is “ISO 8000-110:2008 Quality Master Data”, verification is but a mouse click away.
Commenting on the new standard Mr. Peter Benson the project leader for ISO 8000 said: “Complying with the requirements of ISO 8000-110:2008 is not difficult or expensive, it is simply common sense which, if consistently applied, will save us all a lot of time, money and of course a lot of unwelcome frustration”.
ISO 8000-110:2008 is based on the experiences of the Defense Logistics Information Service (DLIS) in building and maintaining world class databases of master data.
The conference is being held in Battle Creek, the home of the Defense Logistics Information Service (DLIS) a Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) activity www.dlis.dla.mil and celebrates the transition of the Federal Cataloging System and NATO Codification System into an open public standard through the eOTD, ISO 22745, ISO 29002 and finally ISO 8000. The conference is a landmark event focused on the application of the new international standards for data quality that define the process for the creation of quality data in the form of consistent and unambiguous descriptions of individuals, organizations, locations, goods or services.
For conference registration and updates please visit www.eccma.org
Executive Director and Chief Technical Officer
Electronic Commerce Code Management Association (ECCMA)
Project leader for ISO 22745 (technical dictionaries) and ISO 8000 (data quality)