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Viewing:Data Quality Assessment
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Global Change Research in the USDA Forest Service

Data Quality Assessment

FSGCRP Data quality assessment activities ensure that the data produced for the program are of known and documented quality. It is the goal of data quality assessment to ensure that all environmentally related measurements may be carried out such that uncertainty statements can be made. The objectives of data quality assessment are:

  • To document data quality through statistically supported quantitative and qualitative assessments.
  • To ensure comparability of data collection for field and laboratory procedures within and between research projects.
  • To establish criteria for the development and evaluation of models, historical databases, and socioeconomic assessments.

The essential features of data quality assessment consist of quality management, quality assurance, and quality control. Quality management establishes program-wide policies and procedures that ensure adequate documentation and data quality for all field, analytical, and modeling activities. Quality assurance (QA) implements these policies by establishing and monitoring quality control (QC) procedures including the identification of variability and follow-up control recommendations to improve the accuracy and precision of measurements. QC procedures are implemented by scientists within each project and are designed to produce a sustained reduction of error and document systematic error within statistically defined limits. All three activities comprise the FSGCRP total quality management philosophy in which management policies, research planning, and operating methodology are fully integrated within the national program.