Data profiling is the activity of investigating a datastore to create a 'profile' of it. With a profile of your datastore you will be a lot better equipped to actually use and improve it.
The way you do profiling often depends on whether you already have some ideas about the quality of the data or if you're not experienced with the datastore at hand. Either way we recommend an explorative approach, because even though you think there are only a certain amount of issues you need to look for, it is our experience (and reasoning behind a lot of the features of DataCleaner) that it is just as important to check those items in the data that you think are correct! Typically it's cheap to include a bit more data into your analysis and the results just might surprise you and save you time!
DataCleaner comprises (amongst other aspects) a desktop application for doing data profiling on just about any kind of datastore.