In the age of Big Data, information is currency. However, data is useless if it is not managed properly. A fatigued data clerk could enter details incorrectly, or a new acquisition might store its information in a different format than the company that buys it. Inconsistencies, discrepancies and errors can cost businesses customers and lost productivity.
Clarence Hempfield, director and principal product manager at Pitney Bowes Software as well as Certified Information Management Professional, offered a number of tips for managing data to extract the highest value from it. The first step to getting the most out of the information your business has gathered is to assess it carefully. Hempfield recommended using scanning software to review the data.
The scanning program first identifies the type of data stored in any environment, be it a spreadsheet or a database: for example, it determines whether a field contains a first name or last name, or a date of birth. Then, the software decides whether the data in a given field is consistent with information stored in other cells or fields of that category It can also tell whether the person responsible for entering the details has done his or her job correctly; for example, the scanning software can pinpoint whether a date of birth entry contains the day, year and month. Companies can then reward employees who enter information correctly and penalize those who do not, Hempfield noted.