What is a plausibility check? Introduction to data entry error detection techniques

Explanation of IT Terms

What is a Plausibility Check?

A plausibility check is a data entry error detection technique that is commonly used to ensure the accuracy and reliability of data. It involves examining the entered data to determine if it falls within expected and reasonable ranges or if it conforms to predefined rules. The primary purpose of a plausibility check is to identify and flag potential errors or inconsistencies in the data that may have occurred during the data entry process.

Introduction to Data Entry Error Detection Techniques

Data entry is a critical process in various fields, including research, finance, and administration, where accurate and reliable information is required for decision-making and analysis. However, errors during the data entry stage are not uncommon and can significantly impact the integrity of the data.

To mitigate the risks associated with data entry errors, several techniques and methods have been developed to detect and prevent inaccuracies. Error detection techniques help in identifying and rectifying errors before they can cause substantial damage. Among these techniques, a plausibility check is widely employed to assess the validity and coherence of the entered data.

Importance of Plausibility Checks

Plausibility checks play a crucial role in maintaining data accuracy and quality, particularly in large datasets where errors may go unnoticed. By comparing the entered data against predefined criteria or range constraints, plausibility checks can help identify outliers, inconsistencies, or data points that deviate significantly from expected values. By flagging these discrepancies, data entry operators or analysts can review and correct potential errors, ensuring the reliability and validity of the data.

Types of Plausibility Checks

Plausibility checks can be implemented using various methods, depending on the type of data and the specific requirements of the project. Some common types of plausibility checks include:

1. Range Check: This check compares the entered data against a predetermined range of acceptable values. If the entered data falls outside this range, it is flagged as potentially erroneous.

2. Logical Check: This check examines the logical relationship between different data fields. For example, if the data entry form requires the entry of a person’s age and birth date, a logical check would ensure that the age corresponds to the birth date provided.

3. Data Consistency Check: This check ensures that the entered data is consistent across multiple fields or data sources. For example, if a person’s address is entered in different parts of a form, the data consistency check would verify that all instances of the address match.


In the realm of data entry, a plausibility check serves as a fundamental tool for error detection and prevention. By implementing plausibility checks, organizations can enhance the accuracy and reliability of their data, reducing the likelihood of misleading analyses or incorrect decisions. This technique, integrated with other error detection techniques and proper data validation protocols, helps ensure the integrity and trustworthiness of the entered data.

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