Spring Cleaning Part Two: Data Hygiene
Like anything in life, the more effort you put into something important, the better the result. Last month in Part One – we spoke to the essential step of decluttering your data. This is akin to traditional spring cleaning with households and businesses. As we shared here, data is no different.
Because you took the upfront effort to declutter your data, now we can easily engage in best practices for data hygiene that lead to the more effective and efficient use of your data. If you adhere to the business theoremof garbage in/garbage out (GIGO), that is EXACTLY what we are NOT letting you do with our three part data blog series. Because you decluttered your data, the garbage was never allowed in and we can move on working with focused data.
Data is naturally divided into two camps: Structured and Unstructured. Structured is what many of us think about with accounting databases and customer relationship management (CRM) programs. Unstructured data is the largest data category of “everything else” and requires a different tool set to manage. Both data camps require protection, which is one of the domain expertise areas at Waterdog Computer Works. We are here to help right here right now.
A few examples of cleaning your unstructured data would be to consider what “key words” would allow you to search inside a collaboration tool like Microsoft Teams or OneNote. For example, as your drop data into OneNote pages, are the keywords you want to type in the title or body that will help you find this data latter (perhaps a geographic term like “maps” would make sense). Waterdog Computer Works can assist you in better using tools like OneNote to get the maximum value out of your business data. Another data hygiene method would be a data dictionary. You and your employees need to agree on what data terms are defined as. Any example might be conducting customer surveys and having a prize for each customer that completes the survey (a “completion”). But what about someone who starts the survey and does not complete the entire questionnaire? Would they be consider a completion because the started or would the be called a “start?”
Waterdog Computer Works is here first and foremost to protect your important business data. But we can also provide additional services to have you work with your data in the most effective and efficient ways.