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Information Quality: The Foundation for Justice Decision Making

NCJ Number
Date Published
4 pages

This document notes the increasing need for information quality in justice information sharing, and provides information to identify what qualifies as good information, the problems that arise from poor information quality, and how information quality intersects with privacy.


This informational document addresses a challenge that arises from the increasing amount of electronic data exchange, specifically, the need for information quality (IQ) in justice information sharing. The document begins by defining information quality as a multidimensional concept that encompasses critical relationships among multiple attributes, such as timeliness, accuracy, relevancy, and more, which combine to contribute to the validity of information. The document notes that quality information is the cornerstone of sound agency decision-making and enables agencies to perform their jobs efficiently and effectively, while poor IQ can be harmful to the individual, the community, and the justice entity. It discusses how IQ intersects with privacy, specifically IQ’s role in protecting the privacy rights of individuals. The document also presents Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT’s) chart of Information Quality Dimensions, with descriptions of IQ attributes such as accessibility, freedom from error, objectivity, and understandability. The document concludes with recommendations about what criminal justice agencies can do about information quality, some Global IQ resources, and common examples of events relating to information quality that can occur in any jurisdiction.