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  • Rahul Chandel

AI-Based Testing for Data Quality


AI Testing
AI based testing | Pic Courtesy: https://readwrite.com/

Role of AI in Data Quality


Data quality is a crucial factor for any data-driven project, especially involving Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI). Data quality is referred to as the degree to which the data meets expectations. Poor data quality affects the performance, accuracy, and reliability of AI systems which can lead to inaccurate, unreliable & biased results of AI systems affecting the trustworthiness & value of AI systems.

Traditional data quality practices are manual, time-consuming, and error-prone. They cannot handle increasing volume, variety, and velocity of data. Testing data quality is also a complex process. It involves aspects such as data validation, data cleaning, data profiling, etc. which require a lot of human effort and expertise. Therefore, testing data quality is a key challenge for data professionals.

This is where AI can help us in testing data quality. Using AI and ML algorithms, it can automate and optimize various aspects of data quality assessment making the testing process smarter, faster, and more efficient.


Problems that can be solved


Some of the common problems that can be solved using AI-based testing for data quality are:


Data validation

Data validation is the process of checking whether the data conforms to the predefined rules, standards, and formats such as checking whether the data types, formats, ranges, and values are correct and consistent.

AI-based testing can automate data validation by using ML models to learn the rules and patterns from the data and apply them to new or updated data. For example, an AI-based testing tool can automatically detect and flag missing values, duplicates, or invalid values in the data.


Data profiling

Data profiling is the process of analyzing the structure, content, and quality of the data. Data profiling helps us to understand the characteristics and behavior of the data, as well as identify potential issues or opportunities for improvement. For example, calculating the statistics, distributions, correlations, and dependencies of the data attributes.

AI-based testing can automate data profiling by using ML models to extract and summarize relevant information from the data. For example, an AI-based testing tool can automatically generate descriptive statistics, visualizations, or reports on the data quality metrics.


Data cleansing

Data cleansing is the process of improving the quality of the data by removing or correcting errors, inconsistencies, anomalies, or duplicates in the data. Data cleansing helps us to enhance the accuracy, consistency, reliability, and completeness of the data.

AI-based testing can automate data cleansing by using ML models to learn from existing or external data sources and apply appropriate transformations or corrections to the data. For example, an AI-based testing tool can automatically replace missing values based on predefined rules or learned patterns.


Data Enrichment

Data enrichment is the process of adding value to the data by augmenting or supplementing it with additional or relevant information from other sources. Data enrichment can help increase the richness, relevance, and usefulness of the data. For example, adding geolocation information based on postal codes or product recommendations based on purchase history.

AI-based testing can automate data enrichment by using ML models to learn from existing or external data sources to generate or retrieve additional information for the data. For example, an AI-based testing tool can automatically add geolocation information based on postal codes by using a geocoding API or recommend products based on purchase history by using a collaborative filtering algorithm.


Advantages of AI-based testing


Some advantages of using AI for testing are:


Automation

AI can help in automating various tasks or processes related to data quality assessment or improvement. AI can help in validating, cleansing, profiling, or enriching the data by using ML models to learn from existing or external data sources and by applying appropriate actions or transformations.


Optimization

AI can help in optimizing various parameters or aspects related to data quality. AI can help in finding the optimal rules, formats, standards, or constraints by using ML models to learn from the existing or external data sources and apply the most suitable solutions for the data. This can improve the effectiveness, accuracy, and efficiency and enhance the quality of data.


Insight

AI can help in providing insights and feedback for data quality improvement. AI can help in generating descriptive statistics and visualizations to profile the structure, content, and quality of the data and provide insights on correlations, missing values, duplicates, etc. It can also help in identifying potential issues or scope for improvement in the data quality by providing recommendations for resolving or enhancing them.


Drawbacks or Limitations of using AI


Despite having its advantages, there are also some drawbacks or limitations that need to be considered. Some of the drawbacks are:


Complexity

Using AI requires a lot of technical knowledge to design, implement, and maintain the AI and ML models used for testing the data. It also requires a lot of computational resources and infrastructure to run and store the models and the data. Moreover, it may involve various issues such as privacy, security, accountability, and transparency for using AI and ML for testing. It can be a complex and challenging process that requires careful planning, execution, and management.


Uncertainty

The recommendations, assumptions, or predictions made by the AI and ML models may not always be accurate, reliable, or consistent in their outcomes. They may also not always be able to capture the dynamic or evolving nature of the data or the project requirements. Therefore, using AI for testing can bring some uncertainty or risk in the testing process that needs to be monitored and controlled.


Dependency

The quality, availability, and accessibility of the existing or external data sources used by the AI and ML models for learning plays a crucial role in testing. However, these data sources may not always be relevant, fair, or representative of the data or the project objectives. Moreover, they may not always be compatible or interoperable with the formats or standards used by the AI and ML models or the tools or platforms used for testing the data.


Future of AI Testing


Using AI for testing is a promising technique to overcome the challenges and limitations of traditional testing methods. It can automate and optimize various aspects of data quality by using AI and ML algorithms and applying appropriate actions or transformations to the data. It can also provide insights and feedback for data quality improvement by using descriptive statistics and visualizations.


When it comes to testing the quality of data using AI, there are different methods and tools available. These include platforms that use AI to offer complete solutions and specific tools that use AI to address specific issues. Depending on the goals and requirements of the project, users can select the most appropriate approach or tool for their testing needs.


The use of AI in testing presents a host of challenges and limitations that require careful implementation, evaluation, and maintenance of the AI and ML models. To ensure optimal performance, accuracy, reliability, and fairness, it is crucial to continually monitor and update these models. It should be noted, however, that AI cannot fully replace human judgment and intervention in guaranteeing data quality. Rather, it serves as a valuable tool to augment human efforts through automated assistance and guidance.


AI-powered testing for data quality is a rapidly growing field with great potential for innovation. As technology continues to progress, so will the methods and tools for improving data quality through AI. The future of using AI for testing data quality is promising and full of possibilities.


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