In a study published by the popular Data Warehousing Institute, it is estimated that businesses in
America lose around 600 billion dollars a year due to data quality issues. An IBM study suggests
that unclean data can cost companies losses of around $3.1 trillion every year. The same study
also further goes on to claim that almost 30% of entrepreneurs are not confident about the data
they are using.
Hence, we cannot stress enough on the importance of clean, accurate, and concise data. With a
stream of new data coming in every day in greater volumes, data management can become
overwhelming. This is the primary reason for mistakes committed by businesses while handling
data. Redundant data, spelling errors, lost data become common practices for businesses
undertaking their own data entry services like logistics data entry services.
Data cleansing is the process of searching for and rectifying any issues before it is recorded in
the system. Data cleansing comes with a set of clearly defined objectives to fix incorrect,
inaccurate, duplicate, and incomplete data.
Elements of Data Integrity
Clean data helps boost the productivity of a business; it improves the overall decision-making
ability of your management. It drives faster customer acquisition and also helps save valuable
time and money.
Having understood how important data cleansing is to your business, let’s look at some of the
strategies that you can devise to implement an effective data cleansing process.
Data Cleansing Strategies
Devise an Implementation Plan
Have a clearly defined implementation plan in place for your data cleansing process. In order to
do so, pose the following questions;
What type of data do we capture?
How to capture these data?
Who should capture these data?
Do we capture errors during data capturing?
How do we clean our data?
How do we append data from multiple sources?
Questions like these and many others will help you devise a plan that will help you accomplish
your data cleansing goals.
Standardize Your Data
Data standardization is crucial in establishing a typical approach to inserting data points. It is
fundamental as data can be collected from an array of sources and can come in a variety of
spelling options to choose from. For e.g., the United Kingdom can also be recorded as U.K. This
can have a significant impact on smart lists, data segmentation, etc. You can use Data cleansing
software like ‘Marketo’ to normalize smart campaigns or hire a third-party service provider to do
the job for you.
Validate the Accuracy of Data
Now that we have standards for our data clearly established, it is now time to validate the
accuracy of your data. Data needs to go through a strict verification process before being
recorded into a permanent database. Don’t just check once; make your data go through the
process of verification at least twice. The human tendency to overlook is guaranteed to miss
mistakes at first glance; hence, double-checking should be a mandatory practice for your
Implement Tools and Software
Most inaccuracies in data are directly related to human errors. Software and tools can be perfect
antidotes to these unwanted errors. They can catch errors that may easily be ignored by the
human eye. There is an array of tools and technologies in the industry today that can effectively
assist you with finding errors in your data and rectifying them before being recorded.
Software like ICR (Intelligent Character Recognition) and OCR (Optical Character Recognition)
are phenomenal tools to identify errors and reduce your workload by tenfold. These tools will
find errors in data that previously would have been overwhelming to find and suggest corrections
to rectify the issue. You can customize this software according to your requirements.
Train Your Staff
Train your staff in the practice of data cleansing. Your employees, who are an integral part of the
data entry team, need to master the skill of data cleansing. Make it mandatory for them to follow
the practice of proofreading and double-checking. Train them in maintaining and handling
cleansing software and tools to increase the productivity of your business operations.
Outsource Your Data Cleansing Tasks
When it comes to data quality, you must first determine whether your staff is capable of getting
the job done. Normally enterprises do not have the skill or technology needed to carry out the
task and ensure data quality. This is where offshore data entry companies come to the rescue.
Aligning with them will not only get experts working on your data but also cut your operation
costs by 40% to 60%. Also, as you are hiring expert professionals, you can rest assured your data
entry tasks will be carried out with well-established quality standards in mind.
The Bottom Line
Data hygiene is essential in businesses accomplishing their goals and at the end of the day, being
profitable. Following the above strategies will help you master the process of data cleansing and
make the issue of data inaccuracies a thing of the past.