Examining data accuracy and authenticity with leading digit frequency analysis

Bassam Hassan (College of Business, The University of Toledo, Toledo, Ohio, USA)

Industrial Management & Data Systems

ISSN: 0263-5577

Publication date: 1 March 2003

Abstract

This paper proposes and demonstrates that leading digit frequency analysis offers a potential framework to examine the accuracy and authenticity of data values in numerical data sets. Leading digit frequency analysis maintains that the frequencies of leading digits in an original and unmanipulated data set follow a predictable distribution as suggested by Benford’s law. The results of an experiment with random numbers revealed distinct differences between the observed leading digit distribution in the random numbers and the expected distribution as suggested by Benford’s law. This suggests that leading digit frequency analysis offers a useful procedure to evaluate data accuracy and authenticity and offers several useful managerial implications.

Keywords

Citation

Bassam Hassan (2003) "Examining data accuracy and authenticity with leading digit frequency analysis", Industrial Management & Data Systems, Vol. 103 No. 2, pp. 121-125

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DOI

: https://doi.org/10.1108/02635570310463447

Publisher

:

MCB UP Ltd

Copyright © 2003, MCB UP Limited

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