Data cleansing or data enrichment is the process wherein inaccurate or corrupt data is detected and then corrected. Such type of data can easily exist in tables, record sets, or databases. However, this process is primarily used for the cleansing and enrichment of the databases. The process aims at finding the data which could be irrelevant, inaccurate, incorrect, or incomplete. Once this data is found, it is deleted, replaced, edited or modified for enrichment. There are essentially two types of data cleansing tools – wrangling tools and scripting. The wrangling tool is used for interactive data cleansing. Scripting tool, on the other hand, is for batch processing.
The errors in the data could be because of a number of reasons. For example, while entering the data, the user incorrectly entered the wrong values. This will be termed as a human error which is pretty common. The other reasons include errors caused during transmission, mechanical damages, storage issues, and more.
Data cleansing and enrichment tools can save a lot of money for companies. Most of companies face the problems related to the duplication of the data. Because of this, they have to spend a lot of money in correction and fixing. The data cleansing and enrichment tools work really well to remove the duplicated entries. This helps in saving money. It is important to employ the cleansing tool so that data can remain free of duplicate entries.
The accuracy and cleanliness of the data also help in improving the customer’s perception about your company. For instance, if you are sending out letters to your customers with the wrong names, the customers will not take it well. However, if you have fixed the data errors this mistake will not happen. There are many other important things in the data that need to be fixed so that such things do not happen. Accuracy in the data also reduces the number of complaints your business will receive as there will be no mistakes.
Good Practices For Data Cleansing
The data cleaning process is very hectic that needs lots of time and attention to make it right. Here are some good practices for cleaning data effectively and efficiently.
Monitor Errors At The Point Of Entry
It is vital to understand how and why datasets get corrupted. One of the prominent reasons that happen is because the data entering your records isn’t accurate or verified in the first place. Therefore, it is critical to monitor data at the point of entry.
Result-yielding strategies need high-quality data to build upon. So, the first tip for a better cleansing process is to verify your sources. Use tools, if necessary, to validate the hygiene of your data. Create a standard operating procedure for integrity checks at the time of entry in datasets. That will help curb the chances of duplication and inconsistency in the dataset.
Additionally, keep updating your sources and checking them for precision. Carefully examine the data-entry services and processes you use, if you plan to integrate the dataset with other systems.
Validation is one of the core data cleansing services that deal with issues in an existing dataset, like unclean, incorrect, and duplicate records. Data validation ensures a few crucial outcomes for your dataset by keeping it –
- Valid- Accurate formats for every record.
- Complete- No blank, missing, or empty values in the set.
- Consistent- Fair and congruous value ranges.
- Unique- Deduplication of all ambiguous entries.
- Accurate- Data that represent real values.
- Relevant – Values in accordance with the applicable time-period.
It’s important to note that scrubbing databases can take too much time and effort, depending on how vast they are. While validation is essential to achieve efficient data cleansing, businesses are recommended to explore the right tools for the task.
You may choose to create the scripting code by yourself. Otherwise, there are different open-source as well as premium enterprise tools that can be used for data validation. Or, businesses may also hire database cleansing services for the job. It depends on the volume of your dataset as well as the extent of data cleansing services you require.
Create A Data Quality Plan For Your Business
Accurate data fuels more informed and appropriate decision making-we’ve already been over this. That realization should ideally be followed by a data plan that can maintain high-quality values in your databases. Hence, the need for a data quality plan!
- Accurate, understandable, and clear data.
- Timely distribution of relevant and correct data to the responsible parties (managers etc.).
- Guidelines for error-free interpretation of data in the proper context.
- Simplified transfer of data and integration with other systems.
- Reliable sub-systems for data reporting and collection.
- Minimal budget wastage.
- Minimal compliance problems.
- Single entity view and appropriate segmentation.
In simple words, a data quality plan is required to secure clarity throughout all the phases of data management, collection, validation, categorization, and implementation. So, businesses should focus on coming up with a quality plan before they can move on to data analytics.
Important Of Data Cleansing For Ecommerce Businesses
Gives You The Cleaner Database
Keeping the database clean helps you in many ways. One of the most important aspects is the legality involved. There are many countries which require proper cleaning and maintenance of the data. In order to remain compliant and to avoid heavy penalties, you need to make sure that data cleansing is in place. At the same time, by cleaning up the database, you remove redundant entries and save a substantial amount of space on the server. This also makes data processing much easier.
Helps Prevent Fraud Related To Security
Billions of dollars have been lost by the eCommerce companies due to the online security frauds. There are many who access your eCommerce website in order to find the security loopholes and commit the fraud. They usually provide the incorrect information which gets stored in your database. For instance, if someone buys the products from the stolen debit or credit card, and the original owner makes the claim, you will need to reimburse the money. Data cleansing helps in preventing the re-occurrences of such issues.
Improved Mailing Systems
In an eCommerce business, sending out emails to the right people at the right time is very crucial. At the same time, you need to make sure that you avoid sending the email to the wrong people at the wrong (or even right) time. There are many people who would not be interested in your promotional or informational emails. By using data cleansing services, you reduce the chances of sending out irrelevant emails. This also ensures more targeting email drives. Also, sending emails to those who do not wish to receive them is considered as spam and tarnishes the reputation of the company. It may also cause legal troubles.
Improved Analytics Of Consumers
For ecommerce, or for that matter any business, to succeed, it is important to catch the pulse of the consumers. Analyzing and understanding the pattern and behaviours of the customers can give you much deeper insight into their buying preferences and habits. This in turn can help you build effective sales and promotion strategies based on the consumer needs. For such analytics you need clean and correct data. This is another reason why data cleansing is so important.
Helps You Manage Your Resources And Time Better
As an owner of an ecommerce store, there are many aspects of the business you need to take care of. The primary objective of any company is to generate leads and drive sales. However, when you have tasks like data cleansing to worry about, you may lose focus from your core business. Data cleansing requires a lot of manual work and taking care of it could be a big hassle. This is why it is a great idea to outsource the job to professional services. In this way, you will be able to manage your resources and time more effectively.