This article provides an explanation of the Data Quality Score (DQS), why it is important, and how to improve your score.
The Data Quality Score (DQS) is a critical indicator of the reliability of the data used to calculate your emissions inventory. It plays a pivotal role in ensuring the accuracy of your emission calculations, which is essential for effective emissions management and informed decision-making. In this article, we will delve deeper into the significance of DQS and provide guidance on how to improve it.
Understanding the DQS hierarchy
The DQS is determined based on a hierarchical structure, which is as follows:
- Supplier-specific data verified by a third-party: Data obtained directly from your suppliers and independently verified by a third party is considered the gold standard for data quality. It offers the highest level of confidence in the accuracy of your emissions calculations.
- Supplier-specific data: While not independently verified, data provided directly by your suppliers still holds a considerable degree of reliability. It forms the second tier of the DQS hierarchy.
- Physical activity data: This category includes data like kilowatt-hours (kWh) for electricity consumption. It provides a more granular understanding of your emissions sources and contributes to higher data quality.
- Spend data: Spend data, such as the total dollar amount spent on air travel, offers insights into your emissions but is less precise than physical activity or supplier-specific data.
- Industry benchmark data: At the bottom of the hierarchy, industry benchmark data is based on economic data from your company. While it provides a starting point for emission assessment, it is less accurate due to its reliance on averages.
Why and how to improve your DQS
Improving your DQS is crucial for several reasons:
- Accuracy: Higher data quality leads to more accurate emissions calculations, reducing the risk of errors and miscalculations in your inventory.
- Decision-making: Reliable data is essential for making informed decisions regarding emission reduction strategies and sustainability initiatives.
- Credibility: A higher DQS enhances the credibility of your emissions inventory, which is vital for reporting to stakeholders, regulatory compliance, and building trust with customers and investors.
- Supplier engagement: Collaborate closely with your suppliers to obtain accurate and verified data. Encourage them to participate in third-party verification processes.
- Data collection and validation: Implement robust data collection processes and validation checks to ensure the accuracy of the information you gather.
- Regular updates: Continuously update your data to reflect changes in your operations and supplier relationships, ensuring that your inventory remains accurate over time.