When businesses collect data for insight on how to proceed with a specific project or business decision, there is initially a lot of information to filter through before thorough analysis can begin. The filtering and removal of invalid data items is called data cleansing. A data cleanse campaign can save data administrators a lot of time, saving your business from overusing valuable resources.
What is Data Cleansing?
Data cleaning is the process whereby you remove any data points which will, ultimately, corrupt the accuracy of your findings during and after analysis. Examples of data which should be removed before proceeding to the analysis phase of a project include valueless items like blank excel cells or maybe the numeral representation 0 where there should be a value associated to the item.
To ensure you have consistent and accurate data you need to remove any unwanted data items known as ‘rogue data’. To do this, you need to conduct a data cleanse which will allow you to:
- Remove unwanted observations
- Unify the data
- Remove erroneous outliers
- Fix formatting across data sets
- Identify where data is missing and resolve this
- Validate the data you have
Data cleansing is an essential part of the analytical process.
Why Data Cleansing is Important
Data cleansing can save your business time and money but also provides several benefits for efficiency and productivity.
After a data cleanse is performed, the data set submitted for final analysis will represent an audience which is more likely to engage with marketing campaigns, products, and communications from your business. Data cleansing is also essential for keeping existing data sets up to date so that your business stays relevant to your target audience space in the market.
Improves Data Accuracy
Accurate data is essential for making decisions which determine the direction of your business. Conducting a data cleaning exercise will ensure that the information you gain from a specific data set will effectively assist with forecasting and predictions.
Helps Make Informed Business Decisions
No one can predict the future but data is a tool all businesses can use to steer the direction of a business and promote company growth. Data helps businesses understand their customer’s needs as well as where they stand in their relevant markets and industries. When ‘messy’ data is presented, it may cause analysts to be misled. A clean data set will help ensure beneficial decisions surrounding the company’s direction are made.
Makes Analysis More Efficient
Data analysis can take up a lot of time and resources. If data administrators have to spend time cleaning the data before it can be analysed, their workload and time spent increases. Conducting a data cleansing campaign before analysis begins will allow the analysts to work more efficiently without worrying about corrupt data sets.
Better Data Mapping
Organisations use data mapping to easily transport the data between systems and formats. Essentially it is the process of matching data items to their relevant fields so that it can be carried through different applications without errors. An initial data cleanse campaign will prevent potential invalid data items entering into further systems and business operations.
Examples of Data Cleansing Tools
There are several great tools out there to help carry out a data cleansing campaign. These programmes are designed with the user in mind, making them easy tools to use for data alignment, cleaning and data management.
Modelled by HubSpot, Operations Hub has three key features which are essential for data cleansing and reaping the benefits of the exercise. The programme focuses on data integrations, data cleansing, and programmable automation. The platform works particularly well if an organisation already uses HubSpots portals and software. However, its enhanced integration systems will allow you to seamlessly deploy data sets across your business applications, after Ops Hub has conducted a data cleanse for you.
Melissa Clean Suite
This tool is particularly helpful to any business that uses Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics for customer or client relationship management (CRM) purposes. Melissa Clean Suit is quite a targeted tool and helps to organise data by creating demographics, segmenting and targeting. The platform is designed to be as user friendly as possible and data analysts and administrators do not need to spend time training themselves how to use it. The tool also keeps analysing existing data and ensures it stays up to date for you, saving your team time.
Winpure Clean & Match
One of the key features of Winpure Clean & Match is that it gives organisations the option to have the software locally installed, meaning that all data and analytics are safe from breaches unless they are uploaded to the cloud or online storage entity. The programme is designed to operate with several formats and systems including CSV files and spreadsheets, and can integrate these data sets into other operational tools like Salesforce, Oracle and SQL Server.
The tool dedupes, cleanses, and matches items from different data sets, making it a brilliant tool for applications surrounding customer communications. Any organisation who deals with mailing lists and CRM can gain a lot from using this tool.
Google Sheets Data Cleaning Tools
Manually cleaning data is perfect for smaller data sets, and takes no time at all if you know how to use Google Sheets data sorting tools. Tools like the filter tool can help to remove items that contain missing data or blank cells. It’s often best to remove these as blank spaces can have a negative impact on data processing. Google Sheets also offers features to remove duplicates from data sets. The process known among data cleaners as “deduping” is one of the first steps to take in a data cleansing campaign. Although these are not advanced systems, they are great for getting the ball rolling on a data cleanup.
When Are You Starting Your Data Cleansing Campaign?
Think you could benefit from a data cleansing campaign? Novus’ professional team can help you to figure out a system that works for you and the data you need to sort through. Get in touch with our team to start your data analytics improvements.