Ismael Caballero, Jesús Rodríguez, Mario Piattini
ALARCOS Research Group.
Keywords: Data Quality, Information Quality, Data and Information Quality Management
Abstract: Information quality has become a decisive factor in organizations since it is the basis of strategic decisions.
Many researching lines over the last decade have looked at specific data and information quality issues from
different standpoints. Taking care about data and information quality goes beyond the definition of data
quality dimensions, and today, there is still a lack of an integrative framework, which can guide
organizations in the assessment and improvement of data and information quality in a coordinated and
global way. This paper tries to fulfil this gap by proposing a framework which uses the Information
Management Process (IMP) concept. It consists of two main components: an Information Quality
Management Model structured in Maturity Levels (CALDEA) and an Assessment and Improvement
Methodology (EVAMECAL). The methodology allows the assessment of an IMP in terms of maturity
levels given by CALDEA, which is used as a guidance for improvements.
It is a widely known fact that dealing with
information problems is not a trivial issue, nor free.
Many resources are required because quality
assurance is a complex process, in which the
difference between costs and required quality is
closely linked to the context of the application and
organization requirements (Bringel et al., 2004).
Nowadays most of the pragmatic and theorical
efforts achieved on information quality researches
are focused on solving specific and concrete
problems regarding to technical or managerial
information quality issues. These efforts often lack
of an strategic perspective that does not allow
organization to optimize the effectiveness of their
information quality initiatives in an organizational
scope. Many organizations, even after having
identified their information quality problems, do not
have the correct techniques, tools and practices to
implement some of the proposed solutions through
researching lines. Information quality issues are not
usually understood as a global problem of the entire
organization, but a punctual and an isolated one. It
might be a matter of a quality management team,
encouraged by organization heads, who must
implement several quality management concepts like
information quality policy, information strategy,
information quality planning, information quality
control and information quality assurance through
the organization; implying all workers by
commitments and trying to coordinate efforts and
resources in order to control and improve
information quality issues with a strategic
perspective. Unfortunately, there is not still an
integrative framework that guides organizations to
achieve information quality goals through
management by implementing the concepts
mentioned above
Trying to fulfil this lack, we are going to propose
an inte
grative framework considering information as
a product – which allows to take an engineering
point of view for information quality-, and taking
into account the Software Process definition given
by Fuggeta (2000) - which allows to identify who,
when and how is using whatever resources to view
both Information Management and Information
Quality Management activities as an Information
Management Process (IMP), in order to model what
happens in organization and how information quality
might be managed. Information quality is going to
be managed by assessing and improving a concrete
Caballero I., Rodr
ıguez J. and Piattini M. (2005).
In Proceedings of the Seventh International Conference on Enterprise Information Systems - DISI, pages 403-406
IMP. It is true that there are several frameworks for
assessing and improving software processes such as
CMM, CMMI, ISO 9001, BootStrap, and SPICE;
but none of them have focused on information
quality nor even taken it into account.
Our proposal defines two main components: An
Information Quality Management Model,
(CALDEA) which serves as a reference model when
using the second component, the Assessment and
Improvement Methodology (EVAMECAL).
The remainder of this paper is structured as
follows: In Section 2, The Information Quality
Management Process is being shown. The main
steps of the Assessment and Improvement
Methodology and regarding issues are being drawn
in Section 3. Finally, In Section 4, some conclusions
are going to be highlighted.
CALDEA takes the maturity-staged levels from
CMMI and defines five information quality maturity
levels for an IMP as well as CMMI: Initial,
Definition, Integration, Quantitative Management
and Optimizing. Each level stands for specific
information quality management goals. For each
maturity level, several Key Process Areas (KPA) are
proposed. These KPAs are not only focused on
technical but also managerial issues, providing the
basis for information quality measurement and
management and linking both aspects. For each
KPA, some activities, tools, techniques, standards,
practices, and metrics as required, are proposed, but
not imposed, in order to make the model as universal
and general as possible. This structure of maturity
levels allows organizations to take an strategic
perspective for the efforts achieved. The maturity
levels and corresponding KPAs are:
- Initial Level: An IMP is said to be at Initial
Level when no efforts are made in order to
achieve any information quality goals.
- Definition Level: An IMP is said to be at
Definition Level or Defined when it has been
defined and planned. This implies identifying all
its components and their relationship with the
requirements. In order To achieve this goal, the
following KPAs need to be satisfied:
(IQATM) Information Quality Assurance
Team Management. The aim of this KPA is
to form a team composed by people who
have direct responsibility on information and
on its integrity. This team will encourage the
entire organization to take on commitments
regarding information quality policies
(Ballou and Tayi, 1999) and to make
corresponding efforts in order to support the
activities of this maturity model.
(IPM) IMP Project Management. This is a
management KPA aimed at developing a plan
for IMP in order to coordinate both
managerial and technical efforts and to
elaborate all the documentation related
(URM) User Requirements Management.
User Requirements Specification (URS) must
be collected and documented. Three kinds of
requirements might be identified: those
related to final information product (URS-
IP), those related to IMP – which must be
gathered in the User Requirement
Specification for IMP document (URS-IMP)
document - and those related to Information
Quality –which must be gathered in the
Information Quality User Requirements
Specification (URS-IQ).
(DSTM) Data Sources and Data Targets
Management. Both data sources and targets
must be identified and documented, in order
to avoid problems such us uncontrolled data
redundancy or problems with data format
(ADMPM) Database or Data Warehouse
Acquisition, Development or Maintenance
Project Management. This should support
both URS-IQ and URS-IMP.
(IQM) Information Quality Management
in IMP Components. It is necessary to
identify from the URS-IQ the dimensions of
quality of information that must be controlled
(Huang et al., 1999), as well as the metrics
adapted for each one of those dimensions
(Kahn et al., 2002).
- Integration Level An IMP is said to be at
Integration Level or Integrated when after being
having been Defined (Definition level has been
achieved), many efforts are made in order to assure
that the IMP is in compliance with organizational
information quality requirements and standards.
This implies standardizing different information
quality learned lessons in order to avoid previous
mistakes and to improve future work. The
following KPAs must be satisfied:
(VV) Information Products and IMP
Components Validation and Verification.
Both information products (obtained as a
result of data transformation process) and
IMP components must be verified and
validated to correct defects and/or discord
with the USR-IMP, USR-IQ and the
organizational information quality policies.
(RM) Risk and Poor Information Quality
Impact Management.
(IQSM) Information Quality
Standardization Management. All lessons
learned through specific experiences should
be properly gathered, documented .
(OIQPM) Organizational Information
Quality Policies Management. The way by
which all the efforts previously mentioned
can be implemented.
- Quantitative Management The main information
quality goal of this level is to obtain a quantitative
compliance that IMP performance over a
reasonable time period, remains as consistent as
required in terms of variation and stability through
a reliable set of measurements of information
quality characteristics of IMP. This level is
composed by the following KPA:
(MM) IMP Measurement Management.
Since metrics about IMP components have
been drawn up at definition level, the aim of
this KPA is to define when and how to make
the measurements, how to represent the results
and to whom.
(AMP) IMP Measurement Plan Automation
Management. This KPA aims to study all the
issues related to the automation of these
measurement procedures.
- Optimizing Level. An IMP is said to be at
Optimizing Level if when being quantitatively
managed the obtained measurements are used to
develop a continuous improvement by eliminating
defects or by proposing and implementing several
improvements. The following two KPAs must be
(CADPM) Causal Analysis for Defect
Prevention Management. From the study of
the measurement results, some typical quality
techniques and tools like Statistical Control
Process (SPC) or Ishikawa’s diagrams can be
applied to detect defects of information quality
and identify their root causes.
(IODM) Innovation and Organizational
Development Management. Similarly to the
previous KPA, the results can be also used here
to improve the IMP, in terms of performance,
planned time or budget. This is the basis of the
idea of continuous improvement.
EVAMECAL is based on Deming’s continuous
improvement cycle PDCA (Plan-Do-Check-Act).
The main aim of EVAMECAL is to assess and to
improve a specific IMP of a given organization.
Assessments and improvements results are made in
terms of maturity levels given by CALDEA.
Taking as a reference the evaluation model from
ISO/IEC 15504 we have drawn a set of possible
states for maturity levels: {“Consolidated” / “No
Consolidated”}. We have also set states for KPA´s,
activities and Components.
Additionally, we have drawn a set of rules to
determine the state of each element, which are based
on the concept of Information Quality Value (IQV),
which can furthermore be computed as a weighted
average of the Criticality Degree. The rules also
establish the value ranges of each state for each
3.1 Steps and Activities of
An improvement program starts with the recognition
of the needs and goals of the organization in order to
determine the improvement objectives. The
improvement program should also reflect the present
situation of the IMP and the main efforts, organized
in an Improvement Plan for the IMP (IP-IMP), to be
made in order to reach the objectives. After the
execution of the IP-IMP, it is necessary to check the
correcting actions executed and to develop a report
about the experience of the plan so the know ledges
can be useful to avoid future mistakes . This phases
or steps can be grouped into four blocks of a PDCA
The planning phase consists of the following sub
Definition of actual state of IMPs. This is
the assessment step. The main aim is to
determine at which maturity level an IMP is.
The scope of this activity can be defined as
the measurement of the IQVs which is made
by using the defined questionnaires and some
other tools.
Definition of Improvement Goals. Having
into account the obtained results at the
assessment step, next step is to define the
scope of the improvements. This implies to
establish a set of improvement goals in terms
of the states of each element previously
described. In order to realize this activity the
actual state of the IMP should be compared
with the model proposed by CALDEA, so
that the activities, --which need to be
executed to improve and to achieve an
objetive--, can be identified.
Causal Analysis for Defect Prevention. In
order to reach the proposed improvement
goals, it is necessary to determine the source
of detected defects trying to remove the gap
between actual and desired state. This activity
aims to the design of tests which allow to
detect the defects.
Definition and execution of an
Improvement Plan for the IMP. This is the
improvement step. Oncedefect sources have
been identified, an Improvement Plan for the
IMP (IP-IMP) containing corrective actions
must be defined. It is also important to
manage the associated risks, the total cost of
the improvement project and the benefits so
that the viability of the Plan can be studied.
If the IP-IMP is viable, it is executed.
Checking for effectiveness of the
Improvement Plan. In order to check if
Improvement Plan has worked properly, a
new assessment like in step 1 is required. If
improvements goals have been reached, then
go to step 6. Otherwise, go back to step 3.
Get conclusions and standardize the
learned lessons. This implies the study of the
gap between the initial prediction of
resources and benefits, and the result of the
taken actions.
In this paper, the concept of IMP and a framework to
optimize information quality in organizations have
been presented. It consists on two elements: an
Information Quality Management Model
(CALDEA) and an Assessment and Improvement
Methodology (EVAMECAL). The way to use this
framework may be stated as follows: first, identify
the IMPs of the organization and choose the most
critical ones; second, apply EVAMECAL for
assessing and improving the chosen IMPs.
Assessment and improvement sequences are going
to be made having CALDEA as reference.
These components satisfy the conditions proposed
by Eppler and Wittig (2000) for a good information
quality framework: CALDEA provides a systematic
and concise set of criteria for information quality
according to which information can be evaluated.
EVAMECAL provides a schema to analyze and
solve information quality problems. CALDEA is by
itself a conceptual map that can be used to structure
a variety of approaches, theories and information
quality related phenomena since KPA does not
propose a closed set of tools, techniques and
This research is part of both CALIPO- supported by
Dirección General de Investigación of the Ministerio
de Ciencia y Tecnología (TIC2003-07804-C05-03)-
and MESSENGER project - supported by Consejería
de Ciencia y Tecnología de la Junta de Comunidades
de Castilla-La Mancha (PCC-03-003-1).
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