Effective data clean up is vital for sound decision-making. The information and insights drawn from data through review and analysis are only possible when that data is fit for use. This complex and time-consuming process requires valuable resources. In many cases, turning to an expert third party to complete the task allows more time and effort to go toward addressing key business concerns.
Consider these answers to common questions about cleansing data, both in terms of the process itself and how outsourcing can help your business.
Clean data is the backbone of effective analysis.
Why is it important to have accurate, clean data?
Accurate and clean data drives positive and reliable results. When your company knows it has clean data on hand, it can be confident when reviewing and analyzing that information. Duplicate data, incorrect data and otherwise bad data make the outcome of such efforts less trustworthy. If taken at face value, the insight gained from data that isn’t fit for use can lead to less effective marketing, sales and management efforts.
With clean data, your organization can confidently move forward, as Business2Community explained. Data cleaning is a foundational concern for overall data management, which is a related but distinct need for all businesses that draw on data as a resource.
How is data cleaning done?
Data cleaning, also called data cleansing, takes a given data set – or all the data held by your business – and renders it fit for purpose. Online publication Towards Data Science highlighted four key steps for data cleaning, no matter what types of data are involved. A process known as inspection is used to identify bad or problem data. The actual cleaning eliminates the errors, such as removing duplicates, and other issues encountered. The last two steps are verification and reporting, which ensure the results are accurate and provide insight into changes made and the current state of your data.
All of these data cleaning steps are vital for making the most of your data.
Does outsourcing data cleaning make sense?
Outsourcing data cleaning is often a good choice because it puts a time-consuming, delicate and detailed process in the hands of capable and experienced professionals. While you need to ensure your partner in data cleaning can consistently and capably cleanse data, a trusted third party is valuable for many reasons:
- Drawing on outside expertise: Many organizations have the ability to gather their own data and source it from third parties. It’s not as common for businesses to have data scientists and other specialists on staff to both cleanse data on a regular basis and address all the other data and analysis needs that regularly arise. Outsourcing puts a complex process in the hands of those who can effectively complete it.
- Making costs more transparent: The price of internal data cleaning can quickly rise if a company isn’t fully equipped with the tools and knowledge necessary to carry it out. It can also be difficult to fully capture the internal cost related to work hours spent on cleaning, diversions from other projects and similar issues. Partnering with an experienced and proven provider turns data cleaning into an easily understood line item that seamlessly incorporates into a departmental or organizational budget.
- Focusing on your company’s core mission: By outsourcing data cleaning needs, your business can spend more resources on its core goals and leverage cleansed data to reach them.