This is the third in a series of columns describing an approach for certifying data quality. In the first column, we introduced the concept and three levels of certification; last month we explored the data quality certification oversight committee; this month we will describe a certification process. The certification process depends on the level of certification to be provided.

The first step in the certification process is to establish a team to conduct the review. This team will need to review the business processes (for the gold level), the operational systems environment (for the gold and silver levels) and the data warehousing environment (for all levels). All teams should include a representative of the data warehouse team, a representative of the responsible business area(s) and a representative of the support group responsible for the source systems for the data being certified. The team member may vary based on the data being reviewed (e.g., the person should be an expert for the data domain) and the certification level. For bronze level certification, for example, a business analyst who can attest to the requirements is sufficient; for gold level certification, the business representative must be someone with access to detailed knowledge of the business processes and with the ability to influence them. A representative from the auditing or regulatory areas is needed for the gold level, because the certification indicates compliance with governing regulations.

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