Why the data is collected in the first place The idea, the plan, the protocol or questions. Nothing less, nothing more than knowing why the data is collected. For what reasons, what’s the rationale behind the collection? As well as understanding what data is collected, needed to realize the plan.
The data as is The data collected according to the plan up till today. Scanning, reviewing, reading a snapshot. In practice you do this courageously by actually reviewing the data. Blocking 2 to 4 hours undisturbed, undistracted time to review the database. Reviewing a couple of datasets, a number of records or another part of the data. Alone, together with someone else or in a round the table session with a couple of people (better maximized to 4 to 8 people). Daring to really look into what is. What you actually have. While, no matter what you come across, taking the results as a baseline measurement. From there it can only improve.
Reviewing with the intention to understand 2 to 4 hours reading, counting, checking. Data review is not reading. It’s reading with the intention to really understand what you encounter. Thus you will also count, do cross checks from one piece of data to another and dive deeper where needed. Who did record what data when? Who followed up on a consistency, when? And how long did it take to resolve the inconsistency? You really want to get a complete, consistent, accurate and logical stories from the data. Stories about people in line with the rationale behind the data collection.
Any missing, inconsistent or confusing data found you note for asap feedback and follow up.