This post explains the advantages of data standardization for businesses. Until several years ago, data used by companies was limited in quantity and complexity, and was nowhere near to what is available today.
What Is Data Standardization?
Data standardization is the process used to ensure that internal data is consistent, each data type needs to have the same content and format for it be considered standardized data, making them easier to track and analyze.
Related: Data Management Terms Guide
Why Is Data Standardization Important?
Making better business decisions needs a comprehensive view of customers, data standardization is important for businesses to help drive these decisions.
With the advent of mobile applications, social media, and all the modern communication channels, companies have experienced an incredible increase in the quantity of data available to them. But simply collecting, storing and processing large amounts of data doesn’t necessarily lead to better business outcomes.
A common approach that helps businesses to deal with the large amounts of data is to regularly perform data cleansing and data standardization.
What Is the Difference between the two processes?
Data cleansing is the process of improving the quality of data by discarding or correcting incomplete, irrelevant, or inaccurate data. Usually, one performs data cleansing on data that is at rest. Its aim is to provide complete, consistent and accurate data. Only when you cleanse your data, you can use it to gain insights that will help your company to make better decisions.
It deals with transforming the data that was acquired in different formats to a standard format. Data standardization is often used to correct and harmonize data, but it is also an important prerequisite when performing a deduplication of data.
Data Standardization Process
A data audit is the first and maybe the most important step you have to perform before engaging in your data cleansing steps. In short, it will help you identify the most common issues associated with the quality of your data.
Let’s see some common examples that you should consider when performing a data audit:
- Company names: entered both as “Ltd” and “Limited”
- Countries and states: entered both as “NY” and “New York”
- Addresses: entered both as “Rd” and “Road”
- Common mistakes: “Corpration” instead of “Corporation”, or “Engleand” instead of “England”
- Phone numbers: entered both with an international prefix or without it
With this information on hand, the next step is to set up a data standardization tool able to correct and remove such errors.
Performing Data Cleansing and Data Standardization
Due to the large amounts of data that businesses collect these days, it is almost impossible to cleanse and standardize your data without using automated programs.
Word Manager, one of the most important cleaning features of WinPure Clean & Match, is specially designed to correct the most common errors and help you harmonize your data. You can create custom dictionaries and spelling checkers for any language. Also, you can save the settings for later use.
Here are the main features of the Word Manager module:
- Fix spelling errors
- Find and replace keywords
- Replace or remove unwanted text
- Groups and counts all the words in selected columns
- Allows the creation of custom dictionaries
- Extract numbers with common prefixes or suffixes
- Includes several standard Word Manager settings files so you can use them on your lists. You can also create new ones.
- Allows an unlimited number of Word Manager It is important to note that Word Manager comes with several bundled files that will help you get started quickly.
Benefits of Data Standardization
Accurate, cleansed, standardized, and consistent data bring several important benefits to companies and industrires such as the insurance industry, that depend on it to deliver better results.
Currently, many organizations collect data in free-format which usually leads to all kinds of errors. These include inconsistent use of abbreviations, spelling errors, duplicates, and so on. By using Word Manager you can make significant gains in cost, time and manpower.
Word Manager will save your staff’s time by providing them clean records. For example, your sales team will not have to waste their time trying to contact customers using inaccurate or obsolete information.
Improved Customer Acquisition
Accurate data, cleansed, and standardized, can help in the marketing process. It brings better returns on your email or postal campaigns.
Better decision making
Let’s say you have outdated customer data. Or maybe it is not accurate. An analytics or business intelligence software, no matter how advanced, will not bring you the much-needed insights. On the other hand, cleansed and standardized data will lead you to better decision making.
You can’t ignore the impact of dirty data on a company’s costs, time, and assets. Fortunately, WinPure Clean & Match and its Word Manager module are designed to help you easily solve any issues you might have with your dirty data. Moreover, WinPure Clean & Match’s friendly user interface and the Word Manager files that come bundled with any installation will help you start using it in almost no time.