Image: By Alinaderi158 [CC BY-SA 4.0 ], from Wikimedia Commons

The use and storage of data is one of the most vital aspects of any modern business. From customer details and marketing results to product information and employee records, businesses use data in many ways.

With so much information, many data entry or database systems are partially automated. However, the results produced by these systems are only as good as the data they store and sometimes that data can be incorrect. Whether it’s through user or machine error, wrong format or even something malicious, faulty data can, at best, slow down the processing of data and, at worst, can lead to a huge amount of lost time and vital info. So, this is where data cleansing comes in handy but what is it?

  • Data cleansing is the action of:
  • Removing duplicate data
  • Amending incorrect data
  • Amending incomplete data
  • Removing irrelevant & unnecessary data.

There are many benefits to data cleansing. By checking and correcting incorrect data, data cleansing ensures smooth running and accuracy. It can be a time-intensive process but means that any decisions made based on this data are more accurate and any systems that use it run smoother.

There are five core ways in which this directly helps your business;

 

  1. Decision Making
  2. When making any decision about business, you don’t just roll a dice. Reports are consulted, surveys are carried out and files are checked. Data is vital in making effective decisions and inaccurate or misleading data can have significant consequences. With clean and accurate data, decisions both large and small are guaranteed to have more impact, and accurate feedback ensures better decision making going forwards.

     

  3. Marketing Returns
  4. Having accurate data about your current and potential customers is the core of marketing. Marketing campaigns must have accurate data to aim their efforts and to gather accurate data in order to gauge their effectiveness and impact in attracting new business.

    A better understanding of customer needs and demographics leads to more focused and targeted marketing. Data cleansing must occur both on the existing data and on the newly acquired data. With this, marketing is more effective and it will return better results.  

     

  5. Internal Systems Accuracy
  6. At all levels of a business, data and its communication are vital for anything to happen because monitoring internal systems is impossible without accurate data.

    From employee morale to management structures, from office and canteen supplies to payroll, good data is key to understanding any business. Clean internal data allows for easy feedback, as well as better and more direct control, and it reduces the potential for miscommunication and mistakes.

     

  7. Productivity
  8. Whatever your business does, data errors can hurt your productivity. Even a small one-person business needs to know and understand their customers and their product/service and, for bigger businesses, this is even more vital. From manufacturing to finance, good information flows and efficient systems result in less wastage of time, materials and work hours. Error correcting can also drain time and money even when it doesn’t result in mistakes, so clean data helps maintain the smooth flow of production.

     

  9. Improved Revenue Streams
  10. All the above points combine into the final result of data cleansing: improved revenue. Whether this comes about from more effective management decisions, more successful marketing, streamlined internal systems, or efficient processes and services, with accurate data your business will lose less money and get more out of what it already has. Better data accuracy lets you determine exactly what and where in your business is working well and why, and helps you fix what isn’t.

Data cleansing can be a tedious and delicate business, but it is one that must be done well or not at all. Whether removing duplicate data to reduce database size and boost search and processing speeds or checking the accuracy of all entered data against existing records, when you need data cleansing done, you need it done by professionals you can trust to be focused, methodical and secure.