Preparing your data for import doesn't need to feel like an insurmountable obstacle. These tips will help you stay on course so that you can meet your data cleansing milestones. While some firms choose to overlook this task, ignoring the state of your data can cost you more in time and resources in the long run. Without clean data, your business intelligence will be corrupted and your strategy to win compromised.
When you’re preparing your data for import, you only want to migrate clean and relevant data. Many firms chose to only import data from projects worked on in the last 3-5 years. Each firm must decide for themselves what data is relevant, but the following tips can be used by all firms when preparing your data for import:
Make a Backup:
Create a duplicate file of your data before you start your cleansing process, just in case.
Bring in the Good Stuff:
We recommend that you review all the fields that you will be mapping into and only update those. Pay close attention to which fields are required. You’ll have to find those before you can begin to migrate your data.
Identify the data "owners" and see if you can engage them to clean up their contacts. If you get overwhelmed, hire a consultant to help you with this step.
Check that each column has only the right kind of data; allow no letters in a numeric field. Make sure your data is formatted in a uniform way. For example, 4/19/1999 is not the same as 4-19-1999, which is not the same as April 19th, 1999.
If your data is currently in Excel, the Filter function can help you find and correct near duplicate entries and fill in blanks. Most databases will read "Cosential" and "Cosential Inc." as different companies, so it's especially important to make sure company names are uniform throughout your records.
For more tips on data cleansing and implementation for AEC firms, check out our free eBook--Best Practices for a Successful CRM Implementation.