Definition

dirty data

This definition is part of our Essential Guide: Guide to managing a data quality assurance program

In a data warehouse, dirty data is a database record that contains errors. Dirty data can be caused by a number of factors including duplicate records, incomplete or outdated data, and the improper parsing of record fields from disparate systems. The Data Warehousing Institute (TDWI) estimates that dirty data costs U.S. businesses more than $600 billion each year.

Also see data quality.

This was last updated in November 2005
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