Ofgem produce a lot of reports. They store a lot of data but when reviewing it I’m constantly astonished at how poor the consistency of that data is. Today I have been looking at a PDF they have available which contains a large number of addresses with countries.

This should be such basic data they can’t get them wrong? So why does it list several occurrences of ‘United Kingdon’ and one instance of ‘England’? Is ‘Ireland’ the same as ‘Republic of Ireland’?

If they can get something as basic as the country wrong, what confidence should I have in the rest of the data that I have no way of verifying independently?

It’s probably a silly assumption to make, but surely this report was generated automatically? If so then what does that say about the underlying data structures? This really isn’t good enough for a government department in 2013.