Improving data integrity

Consider additional mechanisms for checking the integrity of data submitted

Options for discussion
  • Consider electronic data submission

Many organisations are not completing the QDC accurately. In examining the quarterly data over the four year period of this report, it is clear that the reported data is not complete. For example, there is a clear shortfall in reported data for the September 2014 quarter. DARU can confirm that the data reported in this series excludes some missing data where data was not reported, or not collated.

Some organisations will complete fields for some of their service users, but not others, leaving gaps in the data recorded. For example, an organisation may report the gender of some of their clients, but not record the gender of others.

DARU believes that additional mechanisms should be considered to ensure the data submitted for reporting is accurate and complete. Data is much less valuable to identify trends and inform systemic advocacy if clearly errors are including in reporting.

It is unclear whether organisations are entering data for new clients, total clients, or including clients not recorded elsewhere, for example, including group advocacy clients in some fields.

QDC forms are currently sent out by email as Word documents. This limits how many data integrity checks can be incorporated into the process before submission. The option of electronic submission, for instance through a secure online form, could enhance the accuracy ofinformation provided by including additional prompts and simple consistency checks.