Thursday, September 17, 2009

Why it is so important to consider and guarantee reliability

Unreliable aspects of IT discredit technology. They cause a loss in faith and confidence with the whole world of computers. It is important to know how to spot unreliability, but is almost just as important to ensure that you personally are not adding to the disillusionment of the system. Through awareness of how unreliability can be triggered, we must attempt to prevent it.

The issue of labeling

It is very important that our labeling in Information Technology remains uniform throughout. To a reader the words US, USA, the United States, the States, America, and the United States of America all may signify the same thing. But in technology a computer, or search engine recognizes them all as separate things, separate words of different meaning. We may be unable to fully explore a topic because it is described as a "football match" instead of a "soccer game."

Please brainstorm solutions to this obstacle.

Outdated data

There are a few areas that, in order to be reliable, need periodical confirmation. This will help ensure the accuracy of the data. Common examples include:

  • Address
  • Home phone
  • Marital status
  • Emergency contact

Please comment on what would happen if we did not have this information constantly re-verified? What issues might arise?

Data entered incorrectly

This problem arises through several means. Primarily, errors or spelling mistakes account for a great deal of uncertainty (i.e. is his last name Potter or Petter?). Another factor is when the initial person entering the data has not had proper instruction. Someone who does not know how to work an application correctly, may mistakenly give one impression when they are aiming for another. A third way data can be entered incorrectly is by deliberate means. People often lie about who they are or certain aspects of their lives. Topics commonly falsified are:

  • Age
  • Weight
  • Education Level
  • Name

Please respond to any further ways data is misinterpreted.

Questions about hardware and software

It is very important to make sure the technology you are using is not outdated. By using equipment or applications that do not preform properly or efficiently, you risk the chance of not recieving the correct information. For example, the MLA format for citations just recently changed. If you are using a web browser that cites there sources inaccurately, you may not understand where the information is credited to.

Please comment with examples of your own.

Why things may not be reliable

Problems occur under a number of conditions. We run into issues of reliability, whether or not we can trust Information Technology, when it is unclear if the technology in use is of newest edition (hardware and software), if the data has been entered correctly, if the data is up-to-date, as well as if labels work in tandem with one another.