September 2020

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BI Data Quality Dashboard enhancements


The NHS Data Quality Dashboard was initially designed to support the monthly WoVEn reports produced by NHS Digital. However, since its introduction a number of additional validations have been added to enable organisations to monitor many aspects of their data, from missing email addresses to incorrect Registration details.

The Dashboard has continued to grow over the years as more and more validations have been added as a result of data quality issues arising or user requests.

We’ve recently reviewed the Dashboard and made some enhancements which should aid users in managing data quality within their organisations.

Why are we making changes?

As part of our ongoing push to improve data quality in ESR we continue to look for ways to identify and highlight potential issues to users to enable efficient action to be taken to fix data where required.

Whilst it’s a positive that the number of validations has continued to grow, it is apparent that the volumes of validations on the landing page of the dashboard have become unmanageable and therefore may have been having a detrimental effect on the usage of the dashboard.

In addition, users may be aware that the Workforce Validation Engine (WoVEn) reports, which are created and published by NHS Digital, were enhanced earlier in the year to add new validations as part of ‘Phase Two’. Therefore it’s important that the ESR BI DQ Dashboard reflects those changes to enable users to monitor the data quality issues on a more frequent basis.

Finally, we want to bring applicant data quality in ESR into focus. This aspect of the data is often overlooked but it’s important that all person records on ESR are maintained regardless of their employment status.

What’s new?

Priority Split

The Summary validations have now been split across two separate pages to show only those validations that are considered to be of the highest priority on the landing page of the dashboard.

We’re hopeful that this will make the landing page less cluttered and allow users to focus on the more important validations which have a significant impact locally and nationally where errors exist. Due to the number of other validations currently on the summary page these are potentially being overlooked or missed.

To decide the priority of each validation the ESR BI team have undertaken an initial review before sharing the proposals with members of the national ESR HR & Self Service SIG, the NHS BI Review Group and the Workforce Information Review Group (chaired by NHS Digital). It’s important to note that any changes to priority would need to be agreed universally.

WoVen Phase 2

Following the enhancements made to NHS Digital’s WoVEn process earlier this year we have ensured that all 13 new validations (3 related to Positions and 10 related to Prof Reg) have been replicated in ESR BI and added to the DQ Dashboard. This will enable users to run the new validations more frequently and fix any issues prior to the WoVEn extracts each month.

For more information on WoVEn please visit NHS Digital's website at:

12 new applicant validations have been added to the dashboard to enable users to monitor their applicant data more closely.

The validations replicate a number of employee validations which already existed:

  • Date of Birth should not be Null
  • Applicant is indicated to be 80 years old or greater
  • National Insurance Number should not contain non-random, numeric string or have a Null Value
  • National Insurance Number should not be made up of the Applicant’s Date of Birth
  • Recruitment Source should not be Null
  • NHS Org (Source) should not be Null if Recruitment Source is the NHS
  • Religious Belief should not be Null
  • Sexual Orientation should not be Null
  • Ethnic Origin should not be Null
  • Disability should not be Null
  • Nationality should not be Null
  • Applicants without an update to their record in the last 12 months

New Layout

The above changes gave us the opportunity to review the overall layout of the dashboard and we have implemented some small changes which we hope will be beneficial to users.

Priority Split

The most significant change is to split the summary validations into two parts.

Part 1 shows the highest priority validations which highlight issues that need to be addressed as soon as possible.

Part 2 shows the remaining validations of which some will highlight potential issues. These should still be reviewed regularly and where necessary, action should be taken to fix issues.

Note - the detail of each validation remains within the relevant subject area. E.g. Equality and Diversity.

Applicant Page

Following the addition of new applicant validations to the dashboard we have given applicant data its own page to separate it out from the employee validations. The applicant page includes both the summaries and the detail of each of the 13 validations.

If you have any suggestions for additional Data Quality Validations that you think could be suitable for the NHS Standard Dashboards then please raise an SR via the ESR Service Desk.


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