Data accuracy is all that matters when you deal with any database. At Datahen, we realize the importance of data accuracy for your business and set data accuracy as a priority. All businesses can greatly benefit from data in a number of ways, however, relying on inaccurate data would create more problems rather than solutions. According to a study by DiscoverOrg, sales and marketing departments lose approximately 550 hours and $32,000 per sales rep from using bad data. In 2013, a study showed that data quality costs over $14 million a year to a wide range of companies. In this article, we’ll reveal how data can transform your business, the importance of data accuracy, and how Datahen ensures to deliver only high-quality data.
Let’s Define Data Accuracy
To define data accuracy we need to first understand what are the definitions of data and accuracy. Data means information (e.g. facts or numbers) that was collected, examined and used to help in the decision-making process. Data also means information in an electronic form, which can be stored on a computer for further use. The term accuracy, in general, refers to the correctness and precision. So data accuracy is an important component of data quality. Without data accuracy, the data you’ve collected may be of no use.
In all companies, data is collected from several disciplines. So businesses usually have a huge collection of complex data that must be maintained and grouped in a specific way. Data collection is useless if the collected data isn’t sorted and is left unorganized. It’s crucial that the company handles the big amount of data it collects so that it accumulates in the data warehouse in a perfectly organized and appropriate way. Any business’s important decision-making processes for planning, forecasting, budgeting, etc. must be carried out relying on accurate data. Data accuracy is a crucial element for the long-term success of your business because inaccurate data can disrupt the entire working process of the company.
Data Accuracy and Its Characteristics
Now that we know what data accuracy means, let’s discuss the important characteristics of accurate data. In his book Data Quality: The Accuracy Dimension, Jack Olson explains data accuracy as questioning the correctness of values. He insisted that a value can be correct if it’s the right value and is represented in an unambiguous form. So Olson concluded that the two main characteristics of data accuracy are form and content. Let’s discuss each.
According to Olson, the form or format is important because it eliminates ambiguities about the content and it dictates how a data value is represented. For example, let’s consider the way dates are stored in different formats and why it can be problematic. The date June 20, 2019, would be stored as 06/20/2019 following the US format. However, countries all over the world have different formats for writing dates that might not correspond to the US version. The same value can be stored as 20/06/2019 following the European format. So if someone uses the date written in the US format in France, he or she can easily be mistaken and create an inaccurate value. So if the user cannot tell what the value is then it’s inaccurate.
The second characteristic of data accuracy is content and its consistency. Olson argued that two data values can be both correct and unambiguous, yet still be problematic. This especially refers to free-form texts, such as city names. Consider the example of New York City. It can be captured as NY, NYC, or NY NY. All three terms refer to New York City but the recordings are inconsistent, so at least one of them is inaccurate. Content consistency is a key part of accurate data because inconsistent values can’t be accurately aggregated and compared. But since so much data requires aggregations and comparisons, consistent values create an opportunity for accurate data use.
Why Businesses Should Care About Data Accuracy
If you own or run a business, then you must know that any decision-making process in a company is carried out not by people but by data. Data is the king of smart decision-making. The definition of data, discussed above, refers that data is basically the representation of the reality. It gives you an opportunity to understand everything statistically. When you follow the numbers that are based on real stats, there are fewer chances to make a mistake.
Businesses are always in a rivalry and the intense competition of the 21ﬆ century makes it very hard to differentiate oneself and win the competition. All the decisions must be carefully made, hence the importance of data accuracy for businesses. Here are some of the direct benefits of data for businesses:
- Increased Revenue – accurate data, which is reliable and cleansed, can guide business decisions, helps improve efficiency, and thereby, drive sales.
- Improved ROI – investments that are thoroughly made relying on accurate statistics will most surely have higher returns.
- Higher Customer Satisfaction – there are two ways of how data improves customer satisfaction. First, you can carry out market research and use that data to market your product using the most effective message that’s appropriate to your market at the right time and in the right place. Also, you can collect reviews regarding your current products and understand what your customers like and dislike about you. This would help you spot what’s disappointing your customers and improve the missing parts.
- Time Efficiency – one of the most direct advantages of data for businesses is that a properly governed data would require less time to remediate.
- Optimal Spendings – if you use accurate and reliable data, it can save you lots of money. For example, you will no longer spend money on ineffective actions (e.g. sending emails to addresses that no longer exist)
Data is a great resource for perfecting your business, however, this refers to data that is accurate. There’s so much data available today that if you’re not a professional, it can be impossible to deal with all of it. That’s why it’s important to work with a web scraping service like Datahen. At Datahen, we ensure to deliver the highest quality data that is accurate and reliable. In 2018 alone, we scraped over 1 billion pages for most businesses. Our clients know that data accuracy is a foundational building block for their business analytics. That’s why they stick to working with us because data accuracy is one of our priorities along with upfront communication.
How Datahen Ensures Data Accuracy
The scraping work in Datahen in carried out by high-level professionals. With the help of our fast-acting team, you will get your requested data which would be of the best quality. Data accuracy is an important aspect of quality data, so our web scraping service will make sure to provide you with a data sheet that is ready to use. At Datahen, we do our best to provide you data that corresponds to the following criteria:
- Accessibility: what’s the point of having data if it can’t be accessed whenever needed? There’s no point in having a good and clean database if you either can’t access it or you have to jump through hoops and loops to get to it. By the time to succeed to do so, the data may simply get outdated. That’s why at Datahen, we make sure that the data is put and organized in a way that you can simply access it whenever needed. Otherwise, there will be no value from the data, no matter how accurate it is.
- Completeness: incompleteness of data is a major problem. Imagine you’ve accessed the data and started using it, just to discover that what you need the most is missing. The analysis which you need to carry out relying on the data under your hand would be false. So data accuracy is also about delivering a complete set of data that doesn’t miss any piece of information. Having huge data that misses one single important fact is the same as not having data at all.
- Consistency: consistency is the key to success. When you need data, the first question that usually pops on your mind would “Where do I get it from?” If you want to make smart data-driven decisions for your business then you need to have data that is consistent. Data inconsistency happens when you’re missing information like the source of the data and the timing of that data pull. So Intra-data source consistency is as important to consider as inter-data source consistency. Datahen delivers consistent data that can be easily accessed and is complete.
The importance of data accuracy is closely tied to your business’s future success. Getting business insights from inaccurate and unhealthy data can be disastrous for your company. Leave all the crawling and scraping to Datahen and free yourself from such issues. Make a wise decision when choosing a web scraping service provider.
Our experience of scraping has proven that a web scraping service is in charge of not just crawling, but also keeping a close relationship with clients and asking the right questions. Working with a web scraping service requires tight cooperation and ongoing communication.
Running your business with the help of data is the new way to make your way up. If you’re not yet using data to guide your business decisions, then you’re not using your business capacity to the fullest. Ensuring data accuracy is a crucial element of the data collection process. However, keep in mind that expecting a 100% data accuracy is unrealistic.
There will always be some data that is invalid in the database. But invalid data is not the same as inaccurate data, as we’ve discussed above. If your work with a professional and reliable web scraping service like Datahen, you’ll get accurate data to a degree that would make it highly useful for all your intended requirements.