Don't take clean data for granted
Have you cleaned up your data recently?
Whether you are harnessing big data for customer insights or maintaining a mailing list, the quality of your data matters.
RELATED TOPIC: Are you protecting customer data or exposing it?
Inaccurate data means inaccurate results and potential mistakes. It's clear that your business data needs to be clean and relevant at all times, but what can you do to keep your data clean?
Know what you are harvesting and why
A clear idea of what data you are collecting, and why, will help you to keep your data relevant.
- Say for example you're building a mailing list. Ask yourself:
- What information do you need about each person who signs up?
- Will just their name and address suffice?
- Do you need details about their industry?
- How about the products they are interested in?
- Do you need any other demographic data?
A clear idea about your data needs and aims will help you to stay relevant and weed out unnecessary data.
Standardize data entry
As the article "6 Tips for Keeping Your Data Clean and Relevant" says, it's important to standardize data entry formats companywide. Every person who handles data should be given clear guidance as to how to enter data.
Automating the process where you can will help. Automated data entry cuts down on the risk of human error and helps keep things consistent business wide.
Decide who is responsible
Allocate a staff member to be your data steward. Having a responsible person will eliminate the tendency for staff members to assume someone else is responsible, with no one taking ultimate responsibility.
Make sure your allocated person has the necessary training and knowledge to understand what you need from your data, and from them. Set out what they will be responsible for so they know what to focus on.
Examine your data stream
To keep your data clean, set aside time to do a proper walk-through of your data stream.
Start at the beginning and look at:
- Where data is coming from
- How it is being harvested
- How it is being entered
- How it is being used and applied
- Who is responsible for every stage?
For every point, consider what errors, variables or duplications could be slipping through. By breaking the process down, you can reduce the chances for error at every stage.
Too many variables can play havoc with your data, leading to unclean data and inaccurate results. The more you can eliminate variables, the better your results.
As discussed above, standardizing your data entry and automating where you can will both help to cut down on variables.
Examine where your data comes from so you can see how data is gathered and how much room there is for variation.
Narrow your focus
A focus that's too broad can add to your data problems.
If your remit is too broad, it's harder to grasp what data you need, and how you need it to be delivered.
Whatever your reason for entering data, get your aims clear first.
Know exactly what you need and where you're going to get it, so you can eliminate the rest and keep your data clean.
Test your results
If you want to know how clean and useful your data is, you'll need to test your results regularly. Make reviewing and testing your data a regular business task.
If you find inaccuracies in your data, plan and implement a solution and then test again. Keep testing, cleansing and repeating to keep your data in tip top shape.
If you want to make the most of the data available to your business, follow these steps to keep your data as clean and relevant as possible.
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About the Author: Tristan Anwyn writes on a variety of topics including social media, SEO that works, and how to use data to improve your business.
Ivy.ai’s new chatbot streamlines resources and policies
Ivy.ai, a creator of AI chatbots for higher education, is offering a chatbot that helps institutions streamline name, image, and likeness policies for athletic programmes.
This solution will allow athletic departments to dramatically reduce inbound inquiries while answering inquiries related to compliance, financial aid impact, how-to documents, and best practice training videos.
It will allow institutions to condense information in a way that is easily accessible and eliminates the need for student-athletes to read complicated manuals. Institutions can also engage with student-athletes via a real-time feedback loop to see which topics truly matter and what needs further clarification. This allows administrators to be proactive and provide a competitive edge in recruiting.
Helping institutions connect their students with information
“Athletic departments at colleges and universities are overwhelmed by the challenges posed by the name, image and likeness legislation,” said Mary Frances Coryell, Vice President of Strategic Alliances and Partnership.
“Ivy.ai is uniquely positioned in the market to help institutions connect their student-athletes with policies and information related to NIL such as state laws, restrictions and relevant contacts. Our chatbot can digest all relevant policy information and provide answers to student-athletes at any time on any device. We expect the NIL market to move quickly, so student-athletes deserve the answers on their terms, rather than exclusively during work hours.”
Primary use cases for the chatbot include:
- Answering commonly asked questions related to name, image and likeness
- Communicate policies such as state laws, restrictions and compliance regulations
- Provide contact information for various advisors and agencies
- Connect training materials for athletes to improve their branding
- Engage in two-way reactive and proactive communication to keep policies student-centric
Back in March 2020, the company offered schools a free COVID-19 Response System, including a customisable COVID-19 Response Bot, a human-to-human live chat system and an SMS Text platform. These services are offered completely free of charge.
"The customisable COVID-19 Response Bot will help schools connect their students with important information, such as the school's operational status, where to go for treatment, and what to do to help reduce the risk of spreading the virus. We already added that information to all of our clients' AI chatbots, and we found that in many cases students needed additional support. That's why we're including our human-to-human Live Chat system in this offer. The SMS Text platform can be used to drive awareness to this communications channel for your students." said Mark McNasby, CEO of Ivy.ai.