The integrity of data has never been more important. If you can’t trust the data in a pandemic, crisis has taken on an entirely new meaning. Data Center Dynamics brought this subject to our attention in their article, “Improving data integrity in the wake of the Excel controversy.”

Poor handling of data can have a huge impact on public trust. In the United Kingdom crucial coronavirus test data was input late to the track and trace system, causing the contacts of more than 16,000 positive cases to be under-reported. According to Public Health England (PHE), data stored in a CSV file using an Excel spreadsheet was behind the glitch due to a column limit.

What did this mean? As many as 48,000 people were continuing to go about their lives for a week, unaware that they had come into close contact with someone who had tested positive for COVID-19.

Maintaining data integrity is important. Data integrity ensures recoverability and comprehensive search, traceability and connectivity. Protecting the accuracy of data also increases stability and performance while improving reusability and maintainability.

Melody K. Smith

Sponsored by Data Harmony, a unit of Access Innovations, the world leader in indexing and making content findable.