The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has developed thousands of standards for all types of industries. However, only recently has it begun to develop standards around data and information quality as part of the ISO 8000 family of standards. The University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UALR) Information Quality Graduate Program was one of the first university programs to include ISO 8000 standards in its information quality curriculum. The ISO 8000:110 standard “Master data: Exchange of characteristic data: Syntax, semantic encoding, and conformance to data specification” is covered as module in the UALR graduate course Principles of Information Quality (INFQ 7303), the first course taken by all students entering the program.
UALR faculty members are also taking an active role in the development of a new Part 60-series of standards in the ISO 8000 family. Unlike the Part 110 standard that specifically addressed the exchange of master data, the Part 60 series will include standards for the entire data quality management process. The Part 60 standards are being developed in Working Group 13 (WG 13) of Sub-Committee 4 (SC 4) of Technical Committee 184 (TC 184) on Automation Systems and Integration. Part 61, “Information & data quality management process reference model” and Part 64, “Data quality management: Application for maturity assessment by the Data Quality Process Improvement-model” are both in the ballot and comment stages of the ISO approval process.
Three faculty members of the UALR IQ graduate faculty were present at the most recent WG 13 meeting in Cape Town, South Africa held February 22-26, 2016 and hosted by the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) in Cape Town, South Africa. Two UALR affiliate faculty members, Dr. Salomon de Jager (photo left), CEO of PiLog International Corporation, and Dr. Louis Fourie (photo left), Deputy Vice Chancellor for Knowledge and Information Technology Services at CPUT, along with Dr. John R. Talburt, Acxiom Chair of Information Quality at UALR and Chief Science Officer for Black Oak Analytics, Inc., worked with 11 other participants to help formulate these new standards. The WG13 participants in Cape Town included representatives from the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Korea, Spain, Sweden, Norway, and South Africa along with Dr. Talburt representing the United States ISO Technical Advisory Group (TAG).
The development of International Standards for data quality is yet another indication of how organizations are beginning to regard their data and information as critical business assets. It also demonstrates the growing importance of education in this area. The UALR IQ Graduate Program developed in collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Chief Data Officer and Information Quality Program is the world leader in information and data quality graduate education. The UALR program has already produced more than 140 master’s and PhD graduates many of whom now hold key positions in internationally recognized organizations.