This month's column is contributed by Anne Marie Smith. She may be reached at

One of the main areas of responsibility for any data steward is the enforcement of data integrity. Most data administration texts define data integrity as "attention to the consistency, accuracy and correctness of data stored in a database or other electronic file."1 Commonly, data integrity refers to the validity of data in its incarnations (electronic, paper, etc.). This approach is primarily a reactive one and is focused on the rules used to create and store data values by creating and storing the "right" values for each data element.

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