Clean Data Pt 1 – Which comes first, data cleanse or CPM solution?

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In this three-part series, we explain how you can help cleanse your data by implementing a corporate performance management (CPM) solution, using your ‘dirty’ data sooner rather than later, and shifting your organisational data culture.

How CPM can help cleanse your data

The value of data in business has grown exponentially as more business leaders understand its importance in informed decision-making. However, truly valuable insights can only be realised if the data relied on is accurate. Analyses and forecasts reflect the quality of the data that feeds them, so relying on ‘dirty’ data can cause more harm than good.

A question we hear every day from our prospective customers is: “Is it worth implementing a CPM system if our database is not in good shape and needs a cleanse?”

Anyone who has undertaken a data cleanse in preparation for a database migration knows that it can be complicated, time-consuming, and expensive - no small task. It needs to be thorough and process-driven or you will just end up back where you started.

Your team needs time to understand trends, isolate errors, control data entry points, cleanse the data, redevelop strong processes and then test and repeat. What you see as a sequential process is, in fact, an iterative, endless process. But please don’t let that deter you, CALUMO is here to help.

What many people don’t know is that the right CPM solution can significantly expedite your data cleanse process. This is especially true in the early stages, where oversight of your current data set can really help your team understand trends and isolate errors. This early insight is essential for long-term success.

A CPM solution can help at different stages of your data cleansing process:

1. Inspection

At this stage, data is inspected to detect unexpected, incorrect, missing, and inconsistent data. A CPM solution brings together disparate data into a single platform, providing a single source of truth. Your team can inspect the full data set more easily, which makes it easier to identify trends, inconsistencies, and missing data.

Data profiling

A statistical summary of your data helps assess its quality. Not only does the process of implementing a CPM solution help with data profiling, but CPM solutions can also identify, flag, and report outliers and errors.

Visualisations

Visualisations present data in a way that makes it easy to understand by everyone, not just finance experts. Interactive reports, dashboards, and other tools allow your team to analyse data quickly to find values that are unexpected and thus erroneous.

2. Cleaning

Cleaning data comes next and involves fixing or removing the anomalies discovered. A CPM solution can automate and standardise this process. By reducing manual manipulation of data, you also reduce the likelihood of errors. Configuring your system and standardising data entry fields can prevent duplicate data and inconsistent formatting, which can all affect the quality of your data.

A CPM solution ensures that any changes made to your data are reflected across the board, so everyone is working from the most up to date information. Real-time data entry also helps keep your data clean and up to date. Built-in CALUMO features, like writeback, also allow you to update source systems, so that data is clean everywhere.

3. Verifying

The resulting data needs to be inspected to verify correctness. A CPM solution allows you to publish reports and distribute information so that data can be analysed and verified by your team.

Features like drill-through and drill-to-transactions make it easier for your team to verify data and investigate anomalies.

4. Reporting

Using CPM tools, you can track and report on changes made to your data. CALUMO features, including embedded commentary, allow system users to explain changes, anomalies, or their investigation findings within the one platform. You can also set automated reports to highlight missing data, which ensures that data is updated and increases accountability in your teams.

Data cleanses are not trivial tasks. But they need not be daunting. Get on the front foot and give yourself the best chance of long-term success with a CPM platform like CALUMO.

If you want more information on how CPM can help clean your data, get in touch with us on +61 2 8985 7777 (AUS), +1 214 387 6030 (USA), or info@calumo.com.