Understanding Data Purification
Data purification is the process of identifying and correcting inaccurate, corrupt, improperly structured, duplicated, or missing information from a dataset. The process becomes inevitable when various data sources are integrated as it often leads to data duplications or misclassifications. It's crucial to ensure accurate and consistent results and algorithms, acknowledging that data cleaning methods vary from one dataset to another. Although there's no universal way, developing a systematic strategy for data purification ensures you apply the process correctly every time.
Why Data Purification Matters in Analytics
Ensuring your dataset is clean significantly enhances your efficiency and enables you to make decisions based on top-quality evidence. The benefits of data purification in data science include eradicating errors in large data points, reducing mistakes leading to happier customers and less frustrated managers, understanding the function of different data, and ensuring accurate error tracking and improved documentation for source identification. Further, data cleaning software can facilitate efficient business operations and accelerate decision-making.
The Process of Data Purification
The methods for cleaning data can differ depending on your company's data types. However, the following steps can provide a framework for your organization:
- Start by eliminating unnecessary observations, such as duplicated or irrelevant ones. Duplication often occurs during data collection, especially when merging datasets from multiple sources, data scraping, or collating data from clients or various agencies. Prioritize de-duplication in this stage, and remove any irrelevant observations which don't relate to the problem you're trying to solve.
- Structural errors emerge when you come across strange naming conventions, typos, or incorrect capitalization when handling or transferring data. These inconsistencies can lead to mislabeled categories or classes, like the cases where "N/A" and "Not Applicable" occur within the same category.
- Occasionally, there might be anomalous data points that don't fit within your data analysis. You can remove such outliers if they are a result of incorrect data entry, for instance. Also, outliers can validate assumptions you're testing.
- Missing values often can't be overlooked because most algorithms cannot process them. You have several choices to handle them: drop observations of missing values, fill in missing values using other observations, or amend your data usage method to efficiently manage null values.
Upon completing data purification, confirm if the data is logical, properly formatted, supports or contradicts your hypothesis, has identifiable trends for forming the next hypothesis, and if any problems exist due to data quality.
The Consequence of "Dirty" Data
Erroneous or "dirty" data can majorly impact business planning and decision-making. This could lead to uncomfortable moments in meetings when data-driven conclusions fall apart under scrutiny. Currently, with the exponential rise in digitalization, data is undeniably critical. The data ubiquity on platforms like social media, search engines, and websites is impressive, but it often comes with inaccurate or non-useful information. Hence, it becomes indispensable to perform data cleaning to fully leverage the wealth of data available.
Data cleaning is undeniably a key step in achieving exceptional results from the data analysis process. In light of this, data analytics cannot yield unblemished outcomes if the input data is not purged.