The sheer amount of data that exists today is unfathomable by most people. Reading and sending emails, posting on social media, surfing the internet, checking our bank balance or finding a hotel now uses and creates data. It’s something we don’t think about, but it now forms part of our everyday lives. We don’t even consider the implications of data and how it’s used.
If you manage a business, then there are far more restrictions and regulations on how that data is used. As the amount of data grows exponentially, whether it’s information that forms part of your CRM system, emails, personal details of customers or accounting reports, it’s going to reach a critical mass and become unorganised if you don’t follow some data cleansing procedures.
The quality of the data you possess is essential to the success of any business. Data that is unnecessary can slow systems and data that is simply wrong means you can be wasting valuable resources pursuing it. Here we are going to look at the dos and don’ts of data cleansing services.
Data Cleaning Do
If data cleaning is a new concept to you, then it’s probably fair to say your company doesn’t have a policy or any sort of data governance document. If not, then your first thing to do is to create one. Companies that see data as an asset tend to act more responsibly when it comes to cleaning it. Develop a routine to ensure the data you hold is of the highest quality and continues to be through formal review, maintenance and the ongoing monitoring of the data you hold.
Data Cleansing Don’t
Once you’ve done your data cleansing, don’t make it a one-off occurrence. It’s great that you’ve taken the step of cleaning your data, but all the data you’ve purged will be back. Not exactly as before, but as time moves on you will invariably collect more and more (and more) data. It’s inevitable, so you need to make sure your procedures allow for regularly scheduled cleansing.
Backing-up your data is vital on a day-to-day basis, but in terms of data cleansing, it’s even more important that you do it. Cleaning your data is crucial, but should anything go wrong during that, then you need to be confident that you can revert to a previous incarnation. It’s good practice to back-up immediately before the data cleanse too.
The data any business collects will be used by many different departments. Before you dive head-first into a cleanse, don’t do it without first consulting with all your teams. There may be some records that might seem superfluous, but may well be used by a team, or even one individual. This is particularly important with duplicated data. It might seem like they can be merged, but it may be like that to reflect two different departments in a customer’s business.
Data cleansing is a vital process, but it’s also one that can be fraught with danger. If the idea of it fills you with dread, the best thing to do is to hire an IT professional to do it for you. Finding someone who is experienced in data cleansing services means they will know countless scenarios, so you can focus on using the data, leaving the cleansing to experts.
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