In this digital world, we live in, data is everywhere. If you work in a business, regardless of its size, you will collect, use and analyse data. You will also have some that you don’t need anymore. Christmas is coming, so it’s the perfect time to cleanse your data.
Even if you think you don’t deal with ‘data’, you will have things like customer names, phone numbers and email addresses on your phone. Those spreadsheets, documents and presentations on your computer are all data. That’s not everything, but because it’s electronic, we tend not to see those things as ‘stuff’. They don’t stop us closing drawers in a filing cabinet or storing things in the warehouse, but we amass data all the same, and that data needs to be cleaned.
What is Data Cleansing?
Data cleansing, sometimes referred to as data scrubbing, is the process of identifying, removing or amending the data that you have, that is either incorrect, incomplete or duplicated. In addition, now we live in this new GDPR-regulated world, it also includes data that is unnecessary, irrelevant or has been requested to be removed. There may be some data you possess that is specifically required to be kept by law for a period of time. If that’s the case, that isn’t covered here.
You might think that the data you have is all up-to-date, but over time that data naturally decays. People and businesses change telephone numbers, they move addresses, their bank accounts are swapped and staff turnover occurs. Gradually, and often without knowing, data that was once accurate becomes useless, but you don’t delete it. Because it tends to happen covertly, it’s not only good practice to perform a data cleanse, but it’s an important part of running a business too.
Benefits of Data Cleansing
When it comes to data, there are clear differences between the information you keep for personal use and that which you keep for a business. When running a business, keeping data accurate helps you when it comes to marketing your product or service. Knowing that your mail-shots are going to hit their mark and not be bounced back from dead emails or returned to the sender can make, and save you money.
Remove unnecessary data
When you clean your data, you’re effectively getting rid of all that outdated, inaccurate and placeholder data that you will have accrued. This means that your systems will then only contain the highest quality information. When you have the highest quality data, you can make better decisions that will have a positive effect on your company.
Saves Time and Money
Cleaning data also means that your staff don’t have to spend time (and therefore money) chasing dead leads or wading through countless documents that have become useless. For example, if you’re printing leaflets or flyers, you will know exactly how many to print and send out, reducing your costs. In these difficult economic times, these little improvements all help the bottom line.
If you’ve got your data in a single database or a spreadsheet, then cleaning that data is easier. It might be a little time-consuming but it will be worth it in the long run. Ask yourself, if the data makes sense, are there any duplicates? (and if so, do you need them?) Are the calculations you made still relevant? And are there basic errors like spelling mistakes or missing fields? It’s always a good idea to make a copy of the pre-cleaned system before you start, just in case something goes horribly wrong during the cleanse. Always remember to delete the copy though once the purge is completed.
With the influx of new ‘stuff’ that Christmas brings, don’t let the data behind it all get the better of you. Take some time to analyse the information you have and delete as applicable. If you are looking at getting your data cleansed, IT Focus offer data cleansing services. So if you have any queries or wish to contact us, visit our contact page or call on 0330 058 0100.