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Using Alteryx for Data Quality checks

November 15th, 2016 Leave a comment Go to comments

Data Quality is now a rapidly growing area in many Financial Services organisations. There are multiple vendors, such as Informatica and Ab Initio, with software specifically marketed as a data quality tool. Undoubtedly they are both great products, however they are expensive, in all likelihood in the majority organisations would take significant time before they are approved for purchase.

This is where Alteryx can step in, it’s a great tool to very quickly implement a data quality solution. The price point will not deter the majority of FS organisations and the ongoing administration is not an expensive burden.

Most data quality checks are highly specific, hence are bespoke and unable to be standardised. A business rule against a specific data point in a specific data set is a unique check. For example in the financial services world there are a number of rules defining an ISIN. Depending on the country code (first 2 letters of the ISIN) the remainder of the ISIN could have a specific format and a relationship to other data points, such as a CUSIP.

For something as simple as an ISIN there are actually many specific business rules to identify whether it is correct. In the data quality world each business rule is another quality check. These quality checks all require writing to mirror the business rules.

From the technical perspective Data Quality is actually an ETL process.

  • Extraction: the source data needs to be sourced and brought into the quality check
  • Transformation: the business rule check, transforming the source data into a check result
  • Load: the capture of the results

In Alteryx terms a workflow can hold a number of checks against the same data set. A data set is Input to the workflow, the business rules are written using Formula tools and the results are Output.

Significantly accelerate the writing of quality checks by creating an appropriate Data Quality Check template workflow in Alteryx. The inputs and checks (formula tools) are easily modified and the outputs should be standardised for streamlined reporting of the results.

Using Alteryx the technical side and automation of Data Quality checking can be achieved very quickly. Get in touch if you would like to learn more about our tactical Data Quality solution.

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