Digital Health · April 15, 2023

Data Quality Checklists To Reduce Data Entry Errors & Streamline Operations

Data entry errors have long been a major concern in the procurement industry, leading to inefficiencies, delays, and additional costs. However, the implementation of a data quality checklist could prove to be an effective solution for many organisations. This article will explore the potential success of using a data quality checklist to address data entry errors within procurement departments, specifically by introducing a KPI metric that measures the success or failure of template document submissions. We will examine how this process improvement could lead to a decline in failure rates, streamlined operations, and improved overall procurement performance.

The Importance of a Quality Process and the ‘Get It Right First Time’ Approach

A quality process in procurement is essential for reducing errors and ensuring that data is accurate and reliable. The ‘get it right first time’ approach, which is the cornerstone of a data quality checklist, emphasises the importance of detecting and correcting errors at the initial stages of the procurement process. By adopting this approach, organisations can save time, resources, and avoid costly rectifications later in the process. Moreover, ensuring accurate data entry from the outset can lead to better decision-making, improved supplier relationships, and ultimately, a more efficient procurement operation.

The Data Quality Checklist: A Potential Game Changer in Procurement?

To tackle data entry errors within procurement departments, organisations could adopt a data quality checklist as part of their standard operating procedures. This checklist serves as a comprehensive guide that outlines the most common errors associated with different types of procurement data forms required by the business. By implementing this checklist, procurement teams could systematically review and correct errors before submitting documents for approval.

The Role of Data Teams and Procurement Category Managers

The successful implementation of a data quality checklist could involve collaboration between procurement teams, category managers, and data analysts. Category managers, who are part of the procurement team, play a crucial role in signing off on the checklist, ensuring that their expertise is utilised in identifying and rectifying data entry errors. Meanwhile, data analysts could manage the implementation of the checklist, providing valuable insights into the process and ensuring its effectiveness.

Regular Data Clinics and Checklist Agendas

As part of normal business operations, regular data clinics could be held, with data analysts providing a checklist agenda for each form. These clinics would allow procurement professionals to review and discuss the data quality checklist, ensuring that the process is continuously improved and adapted to the evolving needs of the organisation.

Expanding KPI Metrics to Measure Success

The KPI metrics introduced by the contract owner could be developed further internally to measure not just failures but success by individual buyers, category manager sign-off, and which contract or forms are producing the most failures. This would provide valuable insights into the areas that require improvement and help to drive continuous development of the data quality checklist and procurement processes.


The implementation of a data quality checklist has the potential to be a successful strategy for addressing data entry errors within procurement departments. By involving category managers and data analysts in the process, organisations could effectively leverage their expertise to ensure the accuracy and quality of procurement documents. The introduction of a KPI metric to measure the success or failure of template document submissions, as well as the expansion of these metrics to measure success in other areas, could further facilitate continuous improvement in procurement operations, leading to a decline in failure rates and a more streamlined and efficient procurement process. The ‘get it right first time’ approach, combined with a well-structured data quality checklist, can play a significant role in enhancing the overall effectiveness and success of procurement departments across various industries.

Example Checklist:

DatesEnsure dates are in correct format[ ]
Product CodesCheck for valid product codes[ ]
DuplicationsVerify no duplicate entries[ ]
Supplier NamesConfirm correct supplier names[ ]
CurrencyEnsure currency is properly formatted[ ]
QuantityCheck for valid quantity values[ ]
Special CharactersVerify no unsupported special characters in entries[ ]
Cost PriceConfirm accurate cost price values[ ]
VATEnsure correct VAT calculations[ ]
Management ApprovalObtain management sign-off for final submission[ ]