Theweekendleader

Platform for quality control of data launched

New Delhi

24-July-2019

All data on population, health, demographic behaviour and economic condition, collected by various agencies, will be put through a stringent quality check by the National Data Quality Forum (NDQF), launched here on Wednesday.

Speaking on the occasion, Balram Bhargava, Director General of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), said quality data would be useful in taking any policy decision by the government.

"The purpose of this forum is to ensure, not policing, that the data collected by various agencies goes through a certain rigour for quality, with pre-collection planning, collection and post-collection study," said Bhargava.

The NDQF will ensure that the data is of high quality and strive to train people collecting and analysing the important data, said Vinod K Paul, NITI Aayog, who launched the website.

The NDQF will integrate lessons from scientific and evidence-based initiatives and guide actions through periodic workshops and conferences. Its activities will be geared towards establishing protocols and good practices in data collection, storage, use and dissemination.

India has a rich resource of data on its population, health status and demographic behaviour and economic condition, among many other aspects of life and environment. This wealth of data is translated into insights and, eventually, into policy through a layered process involving human and technological inputs at every stage. 

At times, these data suffer from some common challenges related to human and technological factors and that affect its quality.

While data quality improvement efforts have been undertaken in both the public and private sectors at independent institution levels recently, a convergence of these efforts is yet to be achieved in the form of an integrated platform at the national level that can guide data quality improvement efforts in a cohesive manner.

With a renewed emphasis on improving the quality of data that feeds evidence-based decision-making, the NDQF hopes to bring together stakeholders, experts, industry leaders, decision-makers and data scientists to a common platform.

"Challenges related to data quality need to be addressed at multiple levels and the International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS) is committed to contributing to the improvement of the quality of health and demographic data through strategic partnerships, such as with the NDQF," said K.S. James, Director and senior professor at the Mumbai-based IIPS.

The launch was also attended by representatives of the government, academic institutions, technology and developmental partners, who work towards strengthening the data ecosystem in the country. IANS