What Is Data Integrity

Data Integrity Intro

Data integrity addresses the accuracy and consistency of data over its lifetime. Data breaches cost businesses billions each year which is why data integrity is becoming a main focus of modern enterprise security solutions and digital transformation strategies. 


Data integrity is vulnerable to attack and can be compromised if the right security actions aren’t implemented following a breach. When data is transmitted or duplicated, it should remain unchanged to limit the risk of violations and infringements. 


Data integrity is becoming a priority for businesses that don’t want to get left behind in the fast-paced digital age we live in today. Digital integrity provides a way for businesses to ensure strict data standards that are both accurate and accessible. 


Businesses rely on precise data models to effectively operate in the digital spectrum. Everything from business process automation to manufacturing relies on rigorous data integrity standards that ensure the authentic flow and record of information within a system. 

What Are The Four Types Of Data Integrity?

The four types of domain data integrity are:

  1. Domain Integrity –  Domain integrity simply refers to the number of values accepted and stored in a specific column within a database. Values that are incorrect, repetitive, or broken can cause data inconsistencies and can only be maintained through the use of constraints. Constraints are used to clarify the rules of systems and procedures such as location, deletion, and insertion.
  2. Entity Integrity – Entity integrity makes sure that each entity within a table or structure is uniquely identifiable. Primary keys are used to separate data and retrieve specific information. The value of the primary key should not be void because you won’t be able to identify rows that contain identical values.
  3. Referential Integrity – Data consistency between multiple tables and indexes is retained through referential integrity. When foreign keys are used, the rules in the database structure will dictate and affect changes, addition, and deletion to maintain data integrity.
  4. User-Defined Integrity-  User-defined integrity lends more control and is usually accomplished through the use of stored procedures and triggers which act as block-like statements of information that are enforced automatically if predefined events occur.

Why Is Data Integrity Important?

Data integrity is an integral part of contemporary business practices and works by eliminating incomplete or duplicate records which improve overall database performance. It ensures that employees are receiving reliable, accurate data to effect change through the decision-making process. Data reliability can be boosted through the data integrity process, which provides employees with secure access to vital information. 


The people, processes, and strategic goals of your organization need to be aligned for proper data integrity to be maintained. If a data leak or a breach occurs, it’s often down to human error or insufficient data policies. 

Data Integrity In SQL

SQL is a relational server database management system and is designed to store and manage information through the integration of intelligence, operations, and transaction processing. 


Data integrity within the context of SQL refers to the quality of data stored within a SQL server. Maintenance is performed through formal data input, data validation processes, and constraints. SQL integrity guarantees that the data stored in SQL servers is reliable, valid, and consistent. 

How Do You Ensure Data Integrity?

The introduction of computer-based automation and globalized operations indicates that data integrity is amongst the highest priorities for digital businesses today. Maintaining data integrity for computerized systems is indispensable in the age of digital and businesses are working to implement data integrity strategies that govern and secure valuable information. 

The following guidance provides an outline of data integrity maintenance for automated systems.  


Perform Risk-Based Validation 

Risk-based validation assesses data quality and dependability through safeguarding protocols and only validating systems that are part of GxP-compliance. The frequency, functions, and responsibilities of quality management systems are all defined by system validation, which traces the procedures used to review metadata and audit trails.  

Select Appropriate System & Service Providers 

Service providers are required to conform to industry regulations and deliver systems that are fit for purpose. Software efficacy and integration need to be proven within the context of the application it’s designed for. Businesses should seek to understand suppliers’ organizational structure and capabilities relating to data management to ensure data integrity and compose audits where possible. 

Examine Audit Trails  

Audit trails should interpret data that is relevant to GxP and provide a secure record of all system data. It should include data that has been deleted, changed, or altered and must answer: Who? What? When? And Why? 

The foundation of an audit trail review should concentrate on the intricacies of the system and work to test the functionality of certain processes. 

Data Integrity Example

A data integrity example can include database migration and the problems associated with consistency and compatibility. 


The implementation of new systems requires the reliable backup of data to maintain its integrity. If unforeseen problems occur during the migration process, valuable data can still be accessed through old systems. 

Data Integrity vs Data Quality

Data integrity goes beyond the accurate reporting of reliable information and defines what makes it useful. Data quality is an important component of data integrity but it’s only one aspect of a multi-divisional process. 


Data is a strategic asset that corporations need to make smart data-driven decisions that impact growth and profitability. Data quality and integrity are both important facets of digital transformation initiatives that drive expansion, development, and positive change. 

Data Integrity In Databases

Data integrity within a database refers to the overall precision, totality, and reliability of information within a specific domain. Database integrity ensures that reliable information and data is accessible, accurate, and error-free. When data integrity measures are used, data is secure, compliant, and trustworthy no matter the access rates.

Why Is Data Integrity Important In Digital Transformation?

Digital transformation strategies need to include data integrity as a key factor in the development of future business. Business data has seen unparalleled growth in the age of digital as a direct result of the implementation and development of computing, AI, and IoT. 


In order for businesses to be successful in the digital sphere, they need to address data integrity and enforce designated transformation initiatives that retain customers and grow businesses through accessible data. Industries are advancing their data integrity initiatives at vastly different rates which can pose a risk for long-term digital integration. 

Updated: May 04, 2023

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