Following on from my first post in which I discussed the basic definition, background, and functions of information this post will examine information quality and the characteristics of high quality information with reference to real life examples.
According to Laudon & Laudon (2012), information quality dimensions are as follows:
Accuracy: The data should represent reality.
Integrity: The structure of data and relationships among the entities and attributes should be consistent.
Consistency: The data elements should be consistently defined.
Completeness: All the necessary data should be present.
Validity: Data values should fall within defined ranges.
Timeliness: Data should be available when needed.
Accessiblity: Data should be accessible, comprehensible and usable.
An example of what can go wrong when the information being used by an organisation does not meet the aforementioned standards would be how Wallstreet firms such as Lehman Brothers imploded in 2008 due to use of inaccurate information. Lehman Brothers and indeed many other financial institutions used computer models to manage the risk of their investments in complex mortgage securities. However it transpired that these computer models were based on overly simplistic data and overly simplistic assumptions about potential negative consequences. The catastrophic outcomes in this case are a typical example of the importance of using only high quality information when making decisions in the world of business(Laudon & Laudon, 2012).
In subsequent blog posts I will continue to examine the importance and functions of information in the business arena with use of further real life examples.
Laudon & Laudon (2012), Management Information Systems, Managing the Digital Firm, 12th edition.