“The goal is to turn data into information, and information into insight.” – Carly Fiorina
Data, or the information and insights it gives birth to when acted upon wisely, can make all the difference, often helping you gain the upper hand. But then you need to have the right kind of data at your disposal, to begin with, more so because the wrong kind (read: data with gaps, obsolete records, etc.) would have a rather adverse effect.
This brings us to the million-dollar question: how do you make sure that your data is good enough to be used? Well, the answer lies in the question itself, but if you are not so sure where to look, here’s a checklist you could turn to:
- How do you acquire the data in the first place? If you refer to thousands of online resources, social networking sites, blogs & forums, industry publications, business directories, and other important sites and portals, well done, but if you do not, make no mistake, your data is not as comprehensive as it ought to be. Time for you to look out for data mining services and start over. Better late than never.
- What does the data comprise? Assuming that you do take full advantage of the aforesaid resources, your data is of great quality, no doubt, but you also need to determine if it’s relevant enough. Unfortunately, if you don’t dig deeper into your competitors, keep tabs on the latest trends and do a detailed study of the target markets, the data you fetch is likely to lose its relevance over time. Even worse, it could lead to uncertainty, ineffective marketing campaigns, and lost opportunities. Again, get an expert on board, but yes, when you do, do make sure you are aware of their research methodology.
- Even when you finally get hold of the right kind of data, which is also relevant to whatever you plan to use it for, you may still need to work on the quality. In other words, it’s imperative to ensure that the data you are about to use is complete, correct, and more importantly, current. Now that calls for data enrichment, and unless you are well-versed with the nuances involved, it’s advisable to leave it to an expert. Someone who’s known to render quality data enrichment services should do a fairly good job.
- As tempting as it may sound, do not attempt enriching the data all by yourself. For starters, it is quite an uphill task or can turn into one, especially if your data has been acquired from various sources. Moreover, there are quite a few steps involved, and having an expert by your side could help you save big on the time and effort required otherwise. The steps in question include, but are not limited to:
- Elimination of obsolete records
- Removal of duplicate or erroneous data
- Consolidation of data sources
- Normalization of data in a homogeneous format
- Aggregation, cleansing, and organization of data
Not to mention, the data must be updated from time to time, so as to keep it relevant and maintain its usability. That said, mining data or enhancing it for that matter calls for expertise, the kind that SunTec India is known for. Share your individual requirements at [email protected] and get ready to see data in a new light.