IBM has estimated that businesses in the United States lose $3.1 trillion a year simply because of bad data. This cost represents the amount of time and resources that are wasted when professionals and decision-makers have to work around errors or duplicate data. Computers are extremely useful for storing and accessing enormous amounts of data, but something as simple as one data point being entered under “N.Y.” rather than “New York” can result in certain data points becoming inaccessible or disorganized. It can also prevent critical platforms from communicating with one another with optimal effectiveness.
The following checklist outlines the basic steps you and your organization should take when cleaning your data. With a clear plan in place, you should be able to identify and resolve any lingering issues that are hurting your data efficiency and allow you to work more effectively. As would be the case with practicing any type of proper hygiene, managing a clean database requires regular attention and diligence. Having a clear set of rules for your data and its maintenance should be a part of this plan, as well as regularly scheduled updates. Keeping your data clean will help your vital systems communicate smoothly — helping your business make those crucial connections.