Data are the most important asset to any organization. Therefore, it must be made sure that data is valid and usable at all costs. Data Validation and Data Verification are two important processes of making sure that data possesses these two qualities. Data validation makes sure that the data is clean, correct and meaningful, while data verification ensures that all copies of the data are as good as the original. So, both these processes make sure that the organization does not loose money due to unexpected errors in the data.
What is Data Validation?
Data validation deals with making sure the data is valid (clean, correct and useful). Data validation procedures use data validation rules (or check routines) to ensure the validity (mostly correctness and meaningfulness) of data. It also ensures the validity of input data to maintain the security of the system. These rules are automatically implemented through data dictionaries. Data validation can also be implemented through declaring data integrity rules or procedures enforcing business rules (especially in business applications). These business rules are usually captured during the initial business requirements analysis conducted by the business analysts. It is very important to implement business rules at the beginning of the process, because wrongly validated data usually have a negative impact on the execution of the business process.
The simplest form of validation is checking the input to make sure they are made up of characters from the “valid” set. For example, a validation process for telephone directory application should validate the input telephone numbers to make sure that they contain only numbers, plus/minus symbols and brackets (and nothing else). A little more advanced validation processes could also check the country code field to check if they are legitimate country codes.
What is Data Verification?
Data verification is the process of checking a copy of data to make sure that it is exactly equal to the original copy of the data. Data verification is usually required when you have backed up your data. Most modern backup software have in-built verification functionality. Even, disc burning software allows you to perform verification at the end of the burning process. If the data on the burned disc is verified then you are fine. But if not, you have to throw away that disc and burn again. Data verification is a very important process as it makes you feel safe because you will be confident that you can actually use the backed up data in case the original data gets lost or corrupted. Verification software usually makes sure the copy is readable as well as the content is matched exactly with the original content. So, it takes more time than a simple backup, but it is well worth the trouble. But typically large enterprises perform the automatic backups at night, so the lengthening of time due to the verification process is not a serious problem.
What is the difference between Data Validation and Data Verification?
Data validation is usually performed on the original copy or the inputs to the system, while data verification is carried out on the copies (or backups) of data. Checking the validity of inputs is very quick compared to the lengthy verification processes that occur after backing up. Validation can be used to protect data from the mistakes made by the users, while verification can be used to protect data from the problems that occur due to system faults.
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