Data analysis and maintenance of the central database should take place in parallel. Data should be processed and analyzed quarterly. Once one quarter’s data have been processed, the quarter file is merged with previous quarters until a full-year file is created.
The quarterly analysis of the data allows for summaries to be compiled and disseminated. It also facilitates quality and consistency checks. Maintaining the master data file and databases is critical for any retrospective and prospective analysis.
The suggestions at this stage are as follows:
- The system manager should ensure that the database and working master file are maintained and that two versions are securely stored.
- The database and master file should be backed up at the end of each quarter-year to an external hard drive. The external hard drive must be encrypted and stored in a locked safe when not in use.