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.
Industrial Management & Data Systems – Emerald Publishing
Published: Mar 1, 2003
Keywords: Data; Analysis
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