Data is one of the most expensive assets in the 21st century. In the era of cyber wars, data can be the most fateful factor, responsible for the rise and fall of nations.
However, our focus would be the data in business, for the sake of this article. Data withholds the immense potential for making or breaking situations and direct the business towards growth or decline. In this blog, we will explain what Data Cleansing is, and why your business needs it. Does it really provide valuable business insights?
What is Data Cleansing?
In simple words, Data Cleansing refers to identifying the issues with data and fixing those issues. This definition is illuminating enough to highlight the crucial importance of Data Cleansing.
Nevertheless, little more elaboration would be good, for the readers are totally unaware of the subject. It would help them understand why every business needs data cleansing services.
The size, numbers, formats, and types of data constantly evolve as the business flourishes. Multiple components cause the modifications in data, for example changing economic policies, amendments in hardware or software of machines or merging of supply-chain technologies. As a result, arise the needs of migrating, merging or combining the data from different sources. Therefore, we end up having “dirty data”.
Dirty data is the data that contains redundancies, includes duplicate records, or missing information. The operations of import and merge can result in this corrupt or dirty data. It is inevitable.
The Benefits of Data Cleansing
So data purification becomes indispensable. You need complete data health scan to ensure that data is correct, not old but updated and meaningful. Get the best Data Cleansing Service possible, or be ready for heavy losses.
Data Cleansing is beneficial for both the company and employers in many ways. Clean and high-quality data supports analytics and business intelligence. Effective data health scan is useful for both acquiring new customers and keeping old customers around. Data purification also saves many precious resources, in both dimensions of time and money. Storage and processing time, both are utilized more efficiently. Duplicate data drains out resources.
Data Cleansing eradicates major errors and inconsistencies that are very difficult to avoid when you haphazardly shove multiple sources of data into one dataset. Finally, when there are zero errors and decision-making becomes easy, the employee’s performance gets better and productivity jumps to the highest levels. Further, it continues to better response rate and drastic improvement in revenue.
All this data cleansing must be finished before the data is transferred to the target database or data warehouse.
Methods of Data Cleansing
Manual data cleansing is not reliable in most cases. A huge amount of data and a large number of data sources of the company make it unrealistic and practically impossible. There are tools specifically designed for data cleansing.
Data cleansing comes with a lot of challenges, no matter the method is manual or automated. It may include correcting mismatches, ensuring the right order of columns and checking that data (such as date or currency) is in the same format. Moreover, you may have to enrich the data with supplementary information.
Basic Steps of Data Cleansing
Basic steps of data cleansing are the same in both manual and automatic methods. The order of steps might vary.
- Import data via API. You can also import it in .csv format, or any format required.
- Format data to match with destination database.
- Wherever possible, recreate the missing data.
- Correct different errors such as spelling.
- Reorder the column and rows in a way that they match the target database.
- Delete the duplicate entries.
- Merge additional information, where needed.
Ideal data cleansing software should be your priority if you want an automated solution. Let us enlist some features and functionality you should care about when choosing a data cleansing program.
Properties of Ideal Data Cleansing Software
It should be able to catch and correct error in real-time. Most of the errors happen when you copy or merge data from different sources. The software should identify and remove them instantly.
- It should be an expert in handling data formats. Inconsistencies do surface up in data formats when you copy or merge data from multiple sources. The program should be able to match one format (such as M-D-Y) to another (such as D-M-Y).
- It should automatically update or revise the schema. Every data source should have the same schema in order to be integrated.
- Programs must be good at adding supplementary data.
Best Tools for Data Cleansing
We have compiled a list of five best data cleansing tools that are best for keeping the data clean and consistent and let you perform wise analysis to make valuable decision visually and statistically.
This amazing data-cleansing tool was formerly known as Google Refine. It is a powerful tool to tackle messy data and clean it. OpenRefine is a free and open source.
OpenRefine is best when it comes to transform data from one format into another and later extend it to web services and external data. You can easily explore big data sets with ease, reconcile and match data, clean and transform at a faster pace.
An interactive tool for handling data. Best plus is less formatting time and a larger focus on analyzing data. It aids data analysts in cleaning and preparing messy, diverse data more quickly and accurately. Intelligent machine learning algorithms help in preparing data by suggesting common transformations and aggregations. This is also free of cost.
Winpure is an award-winning data cleansing and data matching software. Amazing features are address verification and email verification. It validates and corrects addresses for over 240 countries worldwide. You can format addresses to local standards and append geocoding information. Similarly, an email address can also be verified very quickly.
Drake is a simple-to-use, extensible and text-based data workflow tool that organizes command execution around data and its dependencies. Data processing steps are defined clearly along with their inputs and outputs. Drake automatically resolves their dependencies and calculates which commands should be executed based on file timestamps. According to dependencies, it determines the order in which commands need to be executed.
TIBCO Clarity offers on-demand software services from the web in the form of Software-as-a-service. User can validate the data, in deduplication and cleansing addresses to help identify trends quickly and make smarter decisions. The program can standardize raw data collected from disparate sources to provide high-quality data for accurate analysis.
What Metrics to Determine the Success?
It is natural wanting to measure success after you are done with implementation. Here are some questions, whose answers you need to figure out in order to determine success.
- Is overall quality better now?
- Are you saving more time and money?
- Can you make better decisions?
- Does the system use tools, scripts, and automation to reduce manual inspection of data, successfully?
- Can the system correct major errors and inconsistencies?
- Can the system detect and remove major errors and inconsistencies?
In case answer to the majority of the questions is yes, then you can consider yourself successful.
Do You Need Data Cleansing?
It is very likely, that some business does not data cleansing. Dirty data originating is a natural and inevitable phenomenon and you have to deal it for survival. Professional organizations have to filter, sort or aggregate their data for good reasons. The only scenario in which you may not need data cleansing is that your business is a start-up with very little or zero data.
The Final Verdict
Data cleaning is vital to the success of any data-centric business activities. We discussed in detail about data cleansing. We saw how it happens and why it is necessary. What tools are best for Data Cleansing, and what are the features of ideal tools. In the end, I would like to emphasis on the fact that there is a deep relation in data quality and revenue. Make sure you hire the best Data Cleansing services for your data.
The dedicated staff of over 200 employees of TransData excels in providing the best data cleansing and data validation services. We guarantee 97% data accuracy. We assure that services would help you achieve an exceptional understanding of business data and customer behavior. Previously, we have collaborated with a number of organizations in numerous areas. Feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, to get a free quotation.