Types of Data Cleansing Functions You Can Outsource

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Data Cleansing Functions

Hygiene is necessary for everyday life because it prevents unwanted, detrimental situations from taking root. This also applies to enterprise data; the cleaner the data stored in your database, the better it serves you. But achieving that data quality is no small feat in this age of Big Data. Not only does poor data quality affect your decision-making adversely, but it also contributes to efficiency drops in productivity, seeing that employees waste 50% of their time dealing with data issues.

Data cleansing is the solution to your enterprise data problems. It is an umbrella term for processes that can help combat numerous data problems through a series of functions, like enrichment, abstraction, and appending. You could go ahead with this in-house by hiring experts or outsourcing to a trusted service provider. Outsourcing is the better option because building an in-house team drains resources (cost, money, time) and may not provide the return on investment you seek.

However, before looking for a data cleansing company, you must understand which functions can and can not be outsourced.

Data Cleansing Functions You Can Outsource

You can consider below different types of data cleansing functions that you can outsource to save labor and operational costs.

1. Data Extraction

Data scraping or data extraction is the process of gathering data from numerous applicable sources. Experts at a data cleansing company use many tools and techniques to scour the internet looking for data relevant to your business, along with offline digital and physical documents. While this process is primarily used for gaining company data, it could also serve as a means to identify data issues.

Mining professionals use sophisticated algorithms that can go through relevant data quickly and identify the errors based on the standards set by you. These algorithms identify various data problems without delays, regardless of data volume. Pertinent metadata collected, like the number of each error type, frequency of occurrence, etc., can be used to better plan and execute your data cleansing strategy.

2. Data Deduplication

Duplicate data is the bane of enterprise data as it can pass off as the original version. It eats up storage space and can wreak havoc on the outcome of data analysis when used. And it does so stealthily, so you won’t know you’re using the wrong data version until it’s too late. It degrades data quality by affecting authenticity. The process of eliminating duplicate data is called deduplication, and it is one of the most prominent data cleansing services applied.

When you outsource your project, the agency’s experts will check for multiple versions of data segments or files. All such data will be compared to isolate the duplicates and eliminate them. Note that this is beneficial for differentiating duplicate data from copies of data stored for backup reasons.

3. Data Completion

The data you receive is likely to be incomplete in some form. Either parts of present data could be missing, or entire files could be, and you wouldn’t even know about it. Such broken or incomplete data can stall your organization’s progress, causing delays and losses. It could also mislead your decision-making by providing false results post-analysis.

Data completion takes care of such data by adding the missing segments. Experts can identify that a certain data segment is missing through a dataset audit. Then, they search for the missing section by scouring various data sources. They may even contact a person or a company providing the data in the first palace to confirm and gain that missing data. With these efforts done by a data cleansing company, you won’t have to waste the time of your marketing and IT teams while ensuring that all your data is complete and reliable.

4. Data Standardization

Standards are created to ease various functions like documentation, operating processes of a company, etc. Data is no exception, with multiple standards applied to its many characteristics like storage size, format, etc. There is also standardization that applies to the actual content of the data. For example, the address of a person is noted in a certain manner, with street names following house number, which is then followed by area, city, state, and Zip code.

Data cleansing experts standardize the raw data that doesn’t adhere to the standards it is supposed to. The standards may be those you’ve set for your company, the prevalent ones in the industry/market, or both. Then there are regulatory standards to conform to that can’t be ignored.

The outsourcing agency’s experts will be aware of current regulatory standards and will get acquainted with your company standards when they interact with you during onboarding. Thus, your data will be up to all prevalent standards, easing its use by your teams and enterprise software tools.

5. Irrelevant Data Removal

It can be difficult to differentiate between unwanted and wanted data when getting raw data for your organization due to time limitations and the volume of data. This means your database will have a lot of irrelevant data that brings down the overall data quality. It needs to be eliminated altogether or selectively stored for possible later use. In the latter case, its value is determined based on various factors.

Data cleansing company experts can do this job for you without hassle. They reduce the time required to determine what segments of the data bloat are necessary and which aren’t based on their experience and quick assessment tactics. Once that is done, they can proceed with either its elimination or archived, depending on your call.

6. Data Reformatting/Conversion

Data format is the principal deciding factor when it comes to compatibility with various software. While there are standards used across industries, like PDF, for example, that may not always be the case. You could end up with formats that are incompatible with your systems as a part of your raw data. Or you may purchase a new system for your enterprise that doesn’t accept your present format standards. In such situations, you need data format conversion to set things right.

When you outsource the process, the experts look at your requirements and use conversion tools to reformat the data. In the case of custom formats, they may ask for its details to make it possible to convert your files. It could be a custom conversion software that you’ve developed/gotten developed that you may have to share to help them convert the files. Either way, their capability and equipment will make light work of the conversion process and give you data in the format you need.

7. Data Validation and Verification

Once the other data cleansing functions are complete, the final step of data cleansing services is applied, which is data validation and verification. The two processes may be done separately or combined due to overlapping stages. They help you confirm if the data you have is accurate and of good quality before use. This is done to ensure that there are no errors that have made it through the cleansing process and that the data is of the highest quality possible.

Conclusion

Data cleansing and enrichment services form a critical component of enterprise data management today, along with database management services, cloud computing support, and others.

Outsourcing the process gives you numerous benefits that help you gain an advantage over the competition and establish stronger customer relationships. Besides making your operations more efficient and cost-effective.

It’s best to go for the complete data cleansing cycle, including periodic reviews, to maintain your data hygiene and business performance.

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