The quality of the decisions your business takes depends on the quality of the data you are using. This means your data has to be complete, accurate, relevant and consistent. It also needs to be entered, stored and managed properly.
Regular data testing is the best way to ensure the quality of your data. Here are a few tips to help you figure out how you can do it.
1. Recognize the importance of data quality
Before you get started with data testing, you have to make sure everyone in your business understands and recognizes the importance of data quality. Data quality should concern everyone in your business, not only your IT department.
You should also keep in mind that depending on your business, some types of data will surely be more important than others. Focus your efforts on improving the quality of the data that makes the most sense for your operations.
2. Figure out the sources of your data
Data comes from different sources, and it is often copied from one source to another. To test the quality of your data, you should try to figure out where it comes from so you can fix any mistakes, and verify their accuracy and completeness.
Whenever you need to analyze your data or to rely on it to start a new project or to take an important decision, you will be glad your team took the time to understand the data and its original sources.
3. Standardize your data
Standardizing your data is a good way to ensure the quality of your records. Naming a chief data officer in your IT department, or creating a dynamic document that will help you standardize your data should help.
Each member of your team who is collecting data, entering it in your systems, or using it needs to be concerned about the procedures in place to preserve data quality, and to do their parts to standardize it.
4. Keep your data updated
Errors can occur when data is being collected, or when it’s being transferred from one system to the other. Even when your data was reliable and accurate when you collected it, it might simply not be the case anymore.
Your data will also become inaccurate as the activities or the situations of your customers change over time, so you will need to perform regular data testing and to update the records that need to be updated.
5. Eliminate duplicate data
If you find that you have many records for the same customer, this can cause you some problems, especially if some of those records contain errors. You need to eliminate duplicate data.
If you have, for example, 5 records about the same person, but you find that 3 of these records contain different versions of the same information, you need to fix mistakes and to get rid of all the duplicate records so you can rely on a single, accurate one.
6. Work with a data testing service
There is no standard approach to data testing, and the type of data that matters the most is different from one business to another. If you want to ensure the quality of the data your business uses, you should consider working with a data testing service.
The right data testing service will recommend you the solutions your business needs to verify the accuracy and the completeness of your data, and will help you streamline your processes so you can be sure to make the most of them. Complete, reliable and consistent data will always be a great asset to your business.