Choosing a data cleansing tool is a difficult task, considering there’s so much ambiguity when it comes to data problems. Consequently, companies are at a loss when choosing a tool to clean unstructured, dirty, or poor data. Most end up purchasing tools that are designed for advanced data management functions, only to realize later it was not the right fit.
So what are the key factors to consider when buying the right tool for cleansing your data?
Here are 10 important considerations to help you figure out how to choose the right data cleansing tool.
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It’s crucial to know what you want from the tool.
For example, do you need total data management or an instrument that performs precise data matching to eliminate duplicates? Furthermore, do you want to unify different data sources in addition to merging and cleaning data sets?
It’s not necessary to have all the answers but it is always helpful to know what you’d like to accomplish with the tool. You can determine this by asking some fundamental questions:
Once you have a fair idea of what you want, knowing what to look for when choosing data cleansing tools becomes easier.
Certain advanced tools are difficult to operate. For instance, a solution like IBM requires certified consultants to help you make the most of the platform. Others might require you to code scripts for custom data cleansing requirements. If all you’re seeking is a program that your managers at work can use to review and clean their data, then user-friendliness and ease of use should be the primary criteria.
Many businesses will end up hiring extra employees or costly consultants to cleanse their data when they could have done it with software that costs significantly less.
The purpose of a data cleansing tool is to give you data you can trust and that is in compliance with the standards of data quality, where data is supposed to be:
Lastly, the software you select must provide a seamless workflow process that conforms to the data quality framework. It should be able to process your data from the stage of error profiling, all the way to data standardization, without requiring manual input from the user.
For instance, the WinPure tool takes the user through:
This seamless workflow execution makes it much easier to take control of your data quality.
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Any basic tool can show you missing fields or text errors, but be sure to look for extra features. Advanced data cleansing tools have advanced data quality check functions that allow you to:
Additionally, it must have a robust data match functionality so you can easily match, merge, and purge data effortlessly.
A good data cleansing tool must allow for easy connectivity to all kinds of data sources – CRMs, email platforms, CSV/XML files, databases like SQL Server, MS Access, and more. You must be able to effortlessly import your data from multiple sources to gain a singule view, and clean data without a hassle.
Be sure to choose a tool that is compatible with the data source you are using and if not, which other connectors or plug-ins will accomplish the task.
Data cleansing is not an activity that is only reserved for data analysts. Business users must participate in this process and must be able to utilize the software to manage their data. This means that HR and the marketing department as well as the finance team should all be able to make use of the tool to cleanse their departmental data. It’s incredibly inefficient for departmental data to be cleansed and processed by users who are not its custodians.
Therefore, a reliable data cleansing tool must be simple to use for professionals, and they do not have to be able to comprehend codes or DBMS regulations to control their data.
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When you’re looking for a way to cleanse your data you’re not seeking just a tool. You’re searching for an expert team who can assist you in solving your data issues and guide you through the procedure. Why? Because data cleansing isn’t just a simple science of matching rows and columns to weed out issues. It’s a business procedure and requires a thorough understanding of your business’s environment, your challenges, and your objectives with regard to data. Only a team capable of assessing everything will help you get maximum value from the tool.
Spend time talking with the people behind the tool and assess the willingness of their team to help you solve issues with your data. The technical and sales teams behind these tools are highly knowledgeable and can work with you to solve business problems.
A data cleansing tool is not a one-size-fits-all. Some tools are geared towards small-sized businesses and applications for single users while others are designed meant for larger enterprises that caters to a wider range of users and have more sophisticated features.
When choosing a tool, you will need to identify if it meets the scope of your requirement and your budget. There are many tools out there that you can test for free – including WinPure. If you’re unsure whether the functionality meets your needs, it’s always easier to request a trial demo to know more about the tool.
Keep in mind that the fact that just because a tool has a high rating doesn’t mean that it’s the best for the task at hand. Different businesses have different data challenges. Some struggle extensively with multiple data sources, some with just CRM data, and others with basic data management. It is crucial to understand what’s bothering you and whether the software can help to solve the issue quickly and efficiently.
G2 & Capterra provides reviews of the best data cleansing tools will provide a clear understanding of the tools’ capabilities as well as the quality of customer support. The majority of users provide specific reviews of their experiences using the tool and the way it helped them resolve the issue they faced.
We also suggest that you conduct deep dive comparisons of various tools. But, it could become overwhelming when you compare several tools, and knowing what to look for can be difficult. The best approach is to narrow it down to the three of the best tools, and then evaluate them on the basis of:
You can even add in your experience with the sales teams as part of your assessment.
Data cleaning is a redundant task but it is one that shouldn’t be neglected. Automation lets you set cleaning schedules daily, monthly, or at a specified time. This can help you save in time, and your information will be available for analysis.
P.S: If you’re wondering why you need to automate your data cleaning task, we’ve explained it here.
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