Data has the potential to transform the outlook of almost any business. For better or for worse!
The year 2020 is very likely to become an infuriating subject for the data scientists of our near future. The reason- Covid 19 Pandemic.
This global health concern has been around for a little over three months now. Skewed data resulting from this massive anomaly has invaded almost every domain, including eCommerce, travel, healthcare, and finance. By now, several analytics teams around the globe have faced failed forecasting models and are expecting delayed quarterly targets.
This biased data will show up in every forecasting model that investigates even a few months’ worths of data for 2020, forever.
The Corona pandemic has created the most significant and recent example of the potential influence of bad data on businesses worldwide. That is why understanding and following the best data cleansing practices and services are more critical now than they ever were.
What Is Bad Data And Why Does It Matter?
In a technical sense, bad data can easily be defined as incorrect, duplicate, incomplete, missing, or unreliable values. Be it irregular and broken file formats or poorly entered records; all muddled data fields are recognized as bad data.
But, the true definition of this term reaches a bit deeper than that.
It encompasses every record that consumes crucial time, misdirects decisions, and hampers marketing, research, or development efforts. It includes obsolete and decayed data, as well as deceiving and misplaced values.
- An HBR (Harvard Business Review) held in 2017 reported that only 3% of the participating executives considered their data to be in good shape.
- In 2018, a Gartner study revealed how organizations lost nearly $15 million annually due to bad data.
In the following years, those numbers have only grown more prominent and more concerning.
Flawed data negatively impacts financial resources, productivity, and efficiency. Underlying data problems hamper time by leading your teams on wild goose chases through wrong conclusions. It affects employee morale and, eventually, your business’s bottom line.
On the flip-side, verifying your data through efficient data cleansing services can turn the entire deal in your favor. Clean, accurate data can be a game-changer for businesses.
- Accurate sales forecasts
- Identifying sales opportunities
- A better understanding of customer expectations
- Insights into the performance of marketing campaigns
- Higher chances to interact and engage more customers
- Accurate planning and budgeting
- Assistance in protecting and improving brand reputation
- Better opportunities to identify and improve problem areas before major issues appear
Improve Your Business Decisions with These 3 Data Cleansing Practices
1. Monitor Errors at the Point of Entry
It is vital to understand how and why datasets get corrupted. One of the prominent reasons that happen is because the data entering your records isn’t accurate or verified in the first place.
Therefore, it is critical to monitor data at the point of entry.
Result-yielding strategies need high-quality data to build upon. So, the first tip for a better cleansing process is to verify your sources. Use tools, if necessary, to validate the hygiene of your data. Create a standard operating procedure for integrity checks at the time of entry in datasets. That will help curb the chances of duplication and inconsistency in the dataset.
Additionally, keep updating your sources and checking them for precision. Carefully examine the data-entry services and processes you use, if you plan to integrate the dataset with other systems.
2. Validate Datasets
Validation is one of the core data cleansing services that deal with issues in an existing dataset, like unclean, incorrect, and duplicate records.
Data validation ensures a few crucial outcomes for your dataset by keeping it-
- Valid- Accurate formats for every record
- Complete- No blank, missing, or empty values in the set
- Consistent- Fair and congruous value ranges
- Unique- Deduplication of all ambiguous entries
- Accurate- Data that represent real values
- Relevant – Values in accordance with the applicable time-period
It’s important to note that scrubbing databases can take too much time and effort, depending on how vast they are. While validation is essential to achieve efficient data cleansing, businesses are recommended to explore the right tools for the task.
You may choose to create the scripting code by yourself. Otherwise, there are different open-source as well as premium enterprise tools that can be used for data validation. Or, businesses may also hire database cleansing services for the job. It depends on the volume of your dataset as well as the extent of data cleansing services you require.
3. Create a Data Quality Plan for Your Business
Accurate data fuels more informed and appropriate decision making-we’ve already been over this. That realization should ideally be followed by a data plan that can maintain high-quality values in your databases.
Hence, the need for a data quality plan!
Here’s what a data quality plan should ensure for businesses-
- Accurate, understandable, and clear data
- Timely distribution of relevant and correct data to the responsible parties (managers etc.)
- Guidelines for error-free interpretation of data in the proper context
- Simplified transfer of data and integration with other systems
- Reliable sub-systems for data reporting and collection
- Minimal budget wastage
- Minimal compliance problems
- Single entity view and appropriate segmentation
In simple words, a data quality plan is required to secure clarity throughout all the phases of data management, collection, validation, categorization, and implementation. So, businesses should focus on coming up with a quality plan before they can move on to data analytics.
How Can You Clean Your Business Data?
This decision comes down to a few points.
- How much data are you collecting?
- What’s the size/depth of your data collection/storage programs?
- What are your organizational objectives for the data under consideration?
- How critical is said data for your enterprise?
For instance, an organization dealing with hundreds of thousands of emails can use the help of external mailing list cleaning services. Outsourcing data scrubbing & processing to a third-party will help the business get a refined, verified, and consistent set of emails, ready for use. And, with a competent data cleansing service, the results are very likely to come in quickly.
In this case, however, the DIY approach may lead to wastage of time and unduly effort. Buying an enterprise tool also relies on a budget of a business and the availability of skilled resources who can work with that tool.
Utilize High-Quality Data to Boost Your Business through Insightful Decisions
Valid data and well-informed insights lie at the heart of every functional business strategy. It drives critical decisions and has the potential to become the reason behind a business’s success or failure. So, enterprises must take action while there is still time.
Unlock the potential of your business data with the right support from SunTec India. With our data cleansing services, you can avail the assistance of the best industry experts in data cleaning and processing. With operational excellence, specialized data support, and a comprehensive suite of data cleansing and enrichment services, we help you make the most of your business data.
To know more about how our data cleansing services can help your business, share your requirements at firstname.lastname@example.org.