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Companies nowadays hold more and more data but is all that data necessary? Are we holding on to too much data “just in case”? How many times have you heard or used that phrase yourself? 
We know that we need to hold on to any accounting related data, which includes data about employees for 6 years for tax purposes. When working with some companies, however, it transpired they were holding data from 20 years ago and older. The reason was, as mentioned above, “just in case”. But when we enquired if they ever needed to go back that far for any information, the answer was usually “No, never”. 
Holding on to such large amounts of data can become costly, especially when it comes to data migration. Data migration occurs during system upgrades or consolidation. It refers to the process of transferring data between storage types, formats or computer systems. This could also be the case if you’re changing CRM or finance packages. Data migration will also be necessary in case of a merger, an acquisition or a buy-out. 
Do you really want to move terabytes of unnecessary data at a higher cost? It may be time to archive ancient and no longer used data. 

Data cleansing – what’s involved? 

A data cleanse project should always be the first step of any data migration plan. So, what’s involved in a data cleanse? It could mean any or all of these steps, depending on the state of your business’ data: 
Archiving old data 
Removing duplicates 
Amend missing data (such as missing data fields) 
Validate existing data (are existing contacts still valid and GDPR compliant) 
This might be a good time to establish (or update) your data retention policy that clearly states what information is kept, for how long and who is responsible for it. Appointing a responsible person is also more likely to lead to the adherence of that policy. Policies are created to standardise procedures across the company and should not simply live on shelves, never to see the light of day again, becoming shelfware. 

What about ‘big data’? 

Regular data cleansing is particularly important with ‘big data’. Big data is defined as large amounts of data that may be computer analysed to reveal trends and patterns for market research and strategic planning. Incorrect or ‘dirty’ data will provide skewed or even false results, potentially costing a business a lot of money. Regular data cleansing, even though a cost in itself, can therefore save a lot of money in the long run by improving the accuracy of insights. 

How can Green Giant Consulting help 

With our Process Improvement expertise, we can help to improve the quality of your data and help you create a data retention policy suitable for your company’s needs. 
To find out more please contact Green Giant Consulting today on 0844 259 6210 or visit our Contact page to book your free initial 2-hour consultation to talk through your challenges. 
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