According to The Data Warehouse Institute (TDWI), ‘dirty’ data is costing US companies around $600 billion every year in lost revenue, missed opportunities, and ill-informed strategic decision-making. Data is ‘dirty’ when it is incorrect, incomplete, irrelevant, duplicated, missing, or improperly formatted.
Part one of this series explored how CPM can help clean your data. Part two explained why you don’t need to wait for perfection before publishing your data. Now, in part 3 of this series, we look at what can cause dirty data and tactics that you can use to keep your data clean.
For many organisations dirty data is caused by:
The most effective way to ensure clean data is to make it a priority across your business. Leadership buy-in is essential.
Clearly communicating why clean data is important to all staff will help shift your organisation’s data culture. Make ‘data management’ a recurring agenda item in weekly meetings or stand-ups, encouraging staff to raise issues or concerns.
Arrange meetings with data collectors to discuss best practices and provide regular updates on any process or system changes.
Providing training and education not only encourages system adoption among staff, it also ensures complete and accurate data entry from the outset.
Training should not only include practical skills for how and what data needs to be entered, but also information on what constitutes clean data.
Regular, periodic training of all staff, not just new staff, eliminates any bad data habits, like corner-cutting, that may have been learned. Here you can also teach best practices, such as updating any incorrectly formatted data and checking for existing data prior to creating new entries.
Limit potential errors by configuring your database or system to only accept data that is the required type and format. You can do this using the following methods where appropriate:
See our tech tip on Data Validation for tips on how to restrict data in Excel.
Assigning a dedicated person to administer your processes will help to maintain data consistency and make your database easier to manage. As part of their role, the data champion not only monitors and cleans system data, but improves data collection processes.
Your data champion can help empower staff to adopt best practices and ensure leadership buy-in.
Keep your data clean by upgrading your systems to a robust CPM solution, like CALUMO, to support your data collection and analysis processes. Speak to one of our data specialists today on +61 2 8985 7777 (AUS), +1 214 387 6030 (USA) or email@example.com.