Design Considerations for Data Quality in Data Entry Systems
Daniels, M. L., Fleischmann, D. M., & Litavecz, S. D. (2005, May). Design Considerations for Data Quality in Data Entry Systems. Presented at International Field Directors and Technologies Conference, Miami Beach, FL.
RTI developed a data entry system (DES) for a multi-site international study conducted in developing countries. The development of a DES to capture data collected using a paper and pencil interview (PAPI) presented many unique challenges due to the diversity of the study sites and the variation in questionnaire content across countries. It is very important to determine the level of restrictions to impose in the DES. These restrictions influence the design, cost, development and quality of data available for analysis. The objective of this effort is to explain the options available for a DES, with features that would maximize data quality in a cost-effective and timely manner. Two strategies will be considered: low restrictions (LR) with post-data entry edits and high restrictions (HR) with pre-data entry edits. The challenges, advantages, and consequences of each strategy will be explained. While LR offers faster and less expensive pre-data entry development and a slower and costly post-data entry cleanup process, HR requires a longer, more costly development timeline but eliminates post-data entry cleanup. Both strategies differ in cost and level of effort involved at different stages of the development cycle. With multiple sites, LR inconsistencies are more difficult and costly to resolve after data collection. Ultimately, a combination of both may allow the right balance and flexibility to accommodate the unique situations that may be present.