Data Systems

Data Quality AssuranceAs an organization constantly dealing with large amounts of data, VARC has expertise in building and maintaining high quality data management systems. We specialize in all aspects of these systems, from management plans, to secure acquisition, to appropriate governance.

High-quality data systems are critical to developing accurate and meaningful statistics such as student growth estimates. Data must be timely, accurate, and complete. VARC consults with partners around improving data systems for advanced analytical uses and addresses the following topics:

Internal and External Governance Policies

  • Data release agreements and memorandums of understanding (MOUs)
  • Secure user groups and appropriate use policies


  • Establishing points of contact for data management with clients

Preparation, Analysis, and Extract, Transform, and Load (ETL) Processes

VARC’s programming team efficiently prepares client data for analysis by:

  • Extracting data from clients’ flat files or database, transforming this data into standard, structured analysis data sets through cleaning and data type formatting, and loading final data to its appropriate storage location in the data warehouse

Security and Management Techniques

  • Use of deposit bins governed by Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP) and Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP), secure servers for data storage, and data warehouses to organize and manage data

Data Quality Assurance (DQA)

VARC provides internal and external data reports to identify potential issues and maintain high data quality before and after analysis, including:

  • Raw data checks: Determining whether initial data meets quality thresholds
  • Internal checks: After data cleaning and applying business rules, checking for quality and consistency
  • Final value-added and report checks: Delivering results and informing clients about data quality

Through these reports, we work with our clients to ensure the effectiveness and reliability of the data.