How to improve your data cleansing process & tips to speed it up

Written by Prajna Shettigar

Prajna, Navigo's Marketing Manager, is passionate about HR Technology and all things digital. She is always looking for creative solutions to help organisations turn their HR data into meaningful information.

January 12, 2024

In today’s data-driven world, organisations rely heavily on accurate and up-to-date information to make informed decisions. However, maintaining clean and reliable workforce data can be a daunting task, especially for businesses working with large volumes of employee information.

Outdated records, inconsistent formatting and incomplete data can lead to inefficiencies, errors and missed opportunities. This is where your data cleansing process comes into play – a crucial process that ensures your organisation’s data is accurate, consistent and ready for analysis.

In this article, we will cover the benefits of maintaining clean data in your organisation and how software can help you significantly speed up and refine your data cleansing strategy.

Big wins of a good data cleansing process

  • Improved decision-making – A good data cleansing process will help with accurate reporting, allowing leadership to make informed decisions, contributing to improved long-term operations.
  • Restructure planning – Maintaining an accurate structure means that you’re able to create and test out future state workforce designs. By having a correct starting point to redesign and compare your options – designing a restructure becomes a whole lot easier.
  • Streamlined payroll processes – The payroll team is no longer forced to manage time-consuming manual workarounds to ensure that your workers are being paid correctly. This also reduces potential liability associated with wage underpayment.

Data cleansing software example

Below is a best practice example in org.manager. This chart includes two views, hygiene report and vacancy list.

The hygiene report highlights missing fields and errors with the help of visualisation rules, enabling managers to correct bad data easily. While the vacancy list report (scroll to the right) helps you surface long term vacancies that need to be actioned (either to be deleted or resurfaced), as well as any critical positions that remain vacant.

It’s also worth mentioning that this view can be fully customised to meet any business requirement.

Tip: Make sure to remove all old, insufficient or irrelevant data from your system so you are focused on future strategy rather than being bogged down by a surplus of information.

What are the risks of not having an ongoing best practice process?

Data is only as good as the questions being asked of it. Focusing on fragmented data or a narrow data set means that you’re wasting your time on manipulation, rather than gaining purposeful insights. If you’re unable to measure how you’re tracking against targets without a huge manual effort in Excel, you’re not in a position to make informed, agile decisions relating to your workforce. 

Plus, a HR system full of bad data will slow down your systems and can produce inaccurate KPI reports. Using inaccurate data leads to poor strategic decisions, undermining your ability to use workforce analytics.

How data cleansing software will improve operations

By using dedicated software like org.manager, you can visualise your workforce data and uncover duplicates, missing values, non-matching values, broken links in the data, ID anomalies and much more. It enables data owners to quickly target ‘dirty’ data for rectification, support iterative cleansing of the data and report on the progress of data quality easily.

Here are 4 ways that data cleansing software can help your business:

Crowdsource data cleansing: Make general payroll data visible across the entire organisation so all employees can flag any errors. You can also allow team leaders to own and fix the data in their reporting line themselves. This forces better data cleansing processes moving forward so you don’t run into the same issue again.

Quickly identify & fix broken reporting lines: By connecting your HR or payroll system to a data cleansing tool, access real-time reports that instantly surface broken data including orphans, duplicates and errors.
Get more from your HR data: Clean data will restore your team’s trust in your source of truth. It provides your organisation with a foundation to quickly and easily generate automated org charts and HR reports with a dedicated tool.
Speed up new system implementations or migrations: The move will depend a lot on the quality and quantity of data you’re bringing across. Also, if your old system and new system don’t match up with field naming conventions – it can be a lot of work to manage manually. Learn more about how you can streamline this process using data cleansing software.
org.manager is Australian hosted and browser based, making it easy to access and share on any device.

Australian case study

CITIC Pacific Mining (CPM), a major mining organisation in Australia with over 2,000 employees, recently upgraded their org charts and HR reports using org.manager. They are now able to visualise their workforce with ease which has allowed them to easily spot anomalies in their data, creating an ongoing feedback loop as part of their data cleansing process. With automatic daily chart refreshes, their data is always up to date.

The CPM and Navigo team have now been working together for over 14 years!

Click here to read the full story.

Final thoughts

Using software to manage your data cleansing process will provide you with an accurate foundation of data that will not only eliminate painful workarounds, but enable you to conduct strategic workforce management, planning and reporting in real-time.

Navigo has 20+ years’ experience running successful payroll data cleansing projects in Australia. Learn how we can help you implement a best practice data cleansing process with easy-to-use software and the support of 5 star consultants.

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