Data Matters: The importance of quality and accurate data in procurement

  • 19/03/2024
  • Written by Chris Whitlock

This month, we are looking at #DataMatters and the importance of ensuring our data is accurate and free of errors. Our Technical Services Manager Chris Whitlock shares how the implementation of a data clinic and checklist within the CMSP has supported the team to ensure correct and timely data submissions.

The CMSP has an obligation to meet KPI’s set for us by NHS Supply Chain, one of which is data. A quality process is essential for reducing any errors and ensuring data is accurate and reliable. This is to ensure we maintain a high standard, address any discrepancies within procurement data, and streamline the process.

Data entry errors have long been a major concern in the procurement industry, leading to inefficiencies, delays, and additional costs. Being able to detect and correct errors at the initial stages of the procurement process saves time, resources, and rectifications later in the process.

Ensuring accurate data entry can lead to better decision making, improved supplier relationships and a more efficient procurement operation.

The CMSP team adopted a ‘get it right first-time approach,’ and this has resulted in the implementation of a data clinic and data checklist to allow for the detection of the most common errors and allow senior category managers to sign data off before submission. This allows for collaboration between procurement teams, category managers and data analysts to allow for detection and rectification. Our category procurement specialist for contract management plays a crucial role ensuring this expertise is used in highlighting and amending errors. These clinics allow for our procurement professionals to review and discuss the data quality checklist and ensure the process to be continuously improved and adapted to the evolving needs of the organisation.

The checklist looks for basic and common errors such as checking dates are in the correct format, no duplication of entries, correct names, valid quantity values etc. It provides valuable insights into areas that require improvement and helps to drive continuous development of data quality and procurement processes.

Implementing the data quality checklist has been a successful strategy for addressing data errors within the CMSP. By involving our category managers and data analysts in the process we have leveraged our expertise to ensure the accuracy and quality of our documentation.

If you would like any insight or guidance on the platforms we use or even implementing your own data clinic please contact our support desk

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