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Garbage in, garbage out

Garbage in, garbage out

(also GIGO, junk in, junk out)

Garbage in, garbage out definition

Garbage in, garbage out (GIGO) is a principle in computer science and IT that refers to the idea that input quality is crucial for output quality. Entering incomplete or inaccurate data into the system will create incomplete or incorrect results. Garbage in, garbage out is particularly relevant if an organization makes decisions based on the output produced by the program or system. If the decision relies on false assumptions, the system won’t solve the problem effectively. Avoiding issues associated with garbage in, garbage out implies ensuring the data is accurate, complete, and consistent before inputting it into a computer program or system. For example, organizations can validate data at the point of input, use data cleansing and transformation techniques to clean up data or implement data quality monitoring and management processes to ensure ongoing data quality.

See also: SSL encryption, anti-malware

Avoiding garbage in, garbage out

  • Data validation ensures data at the input point meets the required format and quality standards.
  • Data cleansing removes errors, inconsistencies, and duplicates in data at the input point.
  • Data transformation converts data from one format to another and ensures consistency across different systems.
  • Data quality monitoring tracks the quality of input data over time and identifies and resolves issues as they arise.
  • User training ensures users input data correctly and consistently, leading to accuracy and completeness.
  • System testing identifies and resolves any issues with data processing or output.

Further reading

Ultimate digital security