The effects of information request ambiguity and construct incongruence on query development

A. Faye Borthick, Paul L. Bowen, Donald R. Jones, Michael Hung Kam Tse

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations

Abstract

This paper examines the effects of information request ambiguity and construct incongruence on end user's ability to develop SQL queries with an interactive relational database query language. In this experiment, ambiguity in information requests adversely affected accuracy and efficiency. Incongruities among the information request, the query syntax, and the data representation adversely affected accuracy, efficiency, and confidence. The results for ambiguity suggest that organizations might elicit better query development if end users were sensitized to the nature of ambiguities that could arise in their business contexts. End users could translate natural language queries into pseudo-SQL that could be examined for precision before the queries were developed. The results for incongruence suggest that better query development might ensue if semantic distances could be reduced by giving users data representations and database views that maximize construct congruence for the kinds of queries in typical do mains.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-25
Number of pages23
JournalDecision Support Systems
Volume32
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2001

Keywords

  • Construct congruence
  • Query development
  • Requirements ambiguity
  • Web front end

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