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 In Data Cleaning, Data Cleansing

data cleaningEarlier this week (Thursday, Feb 20th 2014), reports emanating from the British Geological Survey (BGS) confirmed that an earthquake had occurred under the Bristol Channel at approximately 13:21 GMT. The quake measured approximately 4.1 in magnitude, and was noticed by residents in Devon, south Wales and Somerset. However, the effects of such an event often are more widespread than the actual epicenter itself.  In this instance, reports confirmed that tremors were felt as far off as Dartmoor, Bristol, Taunton, Swansea, Llanelli, Exmouth, Barnstaple, Gloucester and South Molton.

Residents in the impact zone reported having felt their “…houses rocking”, which in and of itself could be a scary feeling. But there was more. Some residents were terrified because they thought they heard what was like a “…heavy truck” travelling up their road with a driver that didn’t even have any driver van insurance. The feeling of being in the path of an out of control truck would easily traumatize anyone – even the bravest amongst us.

Earthquakes of this nature shouldn’t really surprise residents of this area too much. Similar occurrences do happen occasionally, the last one taking place in 2001 at Hartland Point which is around 50 kilometers south west of the most recent event. And experts in seismology believe that a 4.1 magnitude event is likely to not do much damage in any case. However, for those that experienced and lived through the event, that opinion will offer small comfort.

The most appropriate tool to reassure and reinforce people’s confidence during times of crises such as these is data – accurate, clean and uncompromising data! Institutions and organizations, both at government and private levels, that compile, collect and analyse such events must ensure that they have the most up-to-date and reliable data available to quell public fears and anxiety.

When residents in disaster prone areas are presented with consistent seismic data and reliable weather-related information about the region and neighboring areas, they are less likely to panic and react irrationally. But making sure that such data, which is often compiled from disparate sources, including official records, resident call-ins and after-the-fact investigations, is clean and highly reliable is often a challenge that individuals and organizations must grapple with. It’s often difficult to organize, and frequently an extremely laborious and error-prone process to execute.

The decision often comes down to:   Whether cleaning weather related data before serving it up to key constituents is a priority. Clearly, it should be!

And it is for precisely such situations that we have developed WinPure – a powerful suite of data cleansing tools for any occasion. Supported on multiple platforms, including Windows XP-SP2 / 2003 / Vista / Windows 7 and Windows 8, these tools are highly effective in ensuring that decision critical data is reliable just when you need it the most. Clients, both in government and private sector, continually use our suite of products to clean, dedupe and refine a host of data elements before either using them directly or offering them as reliable inputs to up-stream processes.


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