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Data Cleaning Tools


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Domo logo
 
Domo is a fully cloud-based business management suite that integrates with multiple data sources, including spreadsheets, databases, social media and any existing cloud-based or on-premise software solutions. It is suitable for company... Read More
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Domo is a fully cloud-based business management suite that integrates with multiple data sources, including spreadsheets, databases, social media and any existing cloud-based or on-premise software solutions. It is suitable for company... Read More
 
Dundas BI logo
 
Dundas BI, from Dundas Data Visualization, is a browser-based business intelligence and data visualization platform that includes integrated dashboards, reporting tools, and data analytics. It provides end users the ability to create... Read More
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Dundas BI, from Dundas Data Visualization, is a browser-based business intelligence and data visualization platform that includes integrated dashboards, reporting tools, and data analytics. It provides end users the ability to create... Read More
 
Sisense logo
 
Sisense is an agile business intelligence (BI) solution that provides advanced tools to manage and support business data with analytics, visuals and reporting. The solution allows businesses to instantly analyze big and disparate datasets... Read More
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Sisense is an agile business intelligence (BI) solution that provides advanced tools to manage and support business data with analytics, visuals and reporting. The solution allows businesses to instantly analyze big and disparate datasets... Read More
 
IBM Cognos Analytics logo
 
Cognos Analytics is an upgrade to Cognos Business Intelligence (Cognos BI). By adding cognitive guidance, a web-based interface and new data visualization features, Cognos Analytics provides self-service analytics to large and midsize... Read More
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Cognos Analytics is an upgrade to Cognos Business Intelligence (Cognos BI). By adding cognitive guidance, a web-based interface and new data visualization features, Cognos Analytics provides self-service analytics to large and midsize... Read More
 
ClicData logo
 
ClicData is a business intelligence (BI) dashboard solution designed for use primarily by small and midsized businesses. The tool enables end users to create reports and dashboards. A drag-and-drop interface designed for ease of use... Read More
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ClicData is a business intelligence (BI) dashboard solution designed for use primarily by small and midsized businesses. The tool enables end users to create reports and dashboards. A drag-and-drop interface designed for ease of use... Read More

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Netlink Business Analytics Platform logo
 
Netlink's Business Analytics platform is an comprehensive  solution from software, hardware, and connectivity to configuration and ongoing services. The solution can roll-out with no CAPEX and minimal IT involvement. Netlink’s... Read More
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Netlink's Business Analytics platform is an comprehensive  solution from software, hardware, and connectivity to configuration and ongoing services. The solution can roll-out with no CAPEX and minimal IT involvement. Netlink’s... Read More
 
SAP - Business Intelligence logo
 
With its cohesive, consolidated approach, industry powerhouse SAP BusinessObjects gives organizations a full set of tools to manage and optimize Business Intelligence. From a centralized portal, companies can handle everything from... Read More
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With its cohesive, consolidated approach, industry powerhouse SAP BusinessObjects gives organizations a full set of tools to manage and optimize Business Intelligence. From a centralized portal, companies can handle everything from... Read More
 
Halo logo
 
Halo is an end-to-end supply chain management and business intelligence platform that helps in business planning and forecasting inventory for supply chain management. The system uses data from all sources - big, small, and in-between... Read More
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Halo is an end-to-end supply chain management and business intelligence platform that helps in business planning and forecasting inventory for supply chain management. The system uses data from all sources - big, small, and in-between... Read More
 
TARGIT Decision Suite logo
 
TARGIT Decision Suite is a business intelligence and analytics solution that offers visual data discovery tools, self-service business analytics, reporting and dashboards in a single, integrated solution. TARGIT combines the control... Read More
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TARGIT Decision Suite is a business intelligence and analytics solution that offers visual data discovery tools, self-service business analytics, reporting and dashboards in a single, integrated solution. TARGIT combines the control... Read More
 
Birst logo
 
Birst, an Infor Company, is a web-based networked BI and analytics solution that connects insights from various teams and helps in making informed decisions. The tool enables decentralized users to augment the enterprise data model... Read More
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Birst, an Infor Company, is a web-based networked BI and analytics solution that connects insights from various teams and helps in making informed decisions. The tool enables decentralized users to augment the enterprise data model... Read More

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Pentaho logo
 
Pentaho is a business intelligence system designed to help companies make data-driven decisions, with a platform for data integration and analytics. The platform includes extract, transform, and load (ETL), big data analytics, visualizations,... Read More
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Pentaho is a business intelligence system designed to help companies make data-driven decisions, with a platform for data integration and analytics. The platform includes extract, transform, and load (ETL), big data analytics, visualizations,... Read More
 
Centerprise Data Integrator logo
 
Centerprise Data Integrator is an on-premise data integration solution that includes integration, transformation, quality and profiling. It enables users to choose from multiple integration scenarios and control individual users' view... Read More
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Centerprise Data Integrator is an on-premise data integration solution that includes integration, transformation, quality and profiling. It enables users to choose from multiple integration scenarios and control individual users' view... Read More
 
Stratum logo
 
Stratum by Silvon is a robust business intelligence solution that was designed to meet the unique needs of business professionals working for manufacturing and distribution companies. Stratum offers a full suite of integrated analytic... Read More
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Stratum by Silvon is a robust business intelligence solution that was designed to meet the unique needs of business professionals working for manufacturing and distribution companies. Stratum offers a full suite of integrated analytic... Read More
 
Rapid Insight logo
 
Rapid Insight Inc. provides an on-premise Business Intelligence solutions for Higher Education, Fundraising, Healthcare, and Data Science corporations. Their suite of applications includes Dashboards and Scorecards, Data Mining and... Read More
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Rapid Insight Inc. provides an on-premise Business Intelligence solutions for Higher Education, Fundraising, Healthcare, and Data Science corporations. Their suite of applications includes Dashboards and Scorecards, Data Mining and... Read More
 
MicroStrategy Analytics logo
 
The MicroStrategy Analytics platform is a self-service business intelligence platform that supports both data mining and visualization. Available for Web-based or on-premise deployment, this platform can be implemented on a gradual... Read More
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The MicroStrategy Analytics platform is a self-service business intelligence platform that supports both data mining and visualization. Available for Web-based or on-premise deployment, this platform can be implemented on a gradual... Read More

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Alteryx logo
 
Alteryx is a business intelligence platform for data analysts that offers data mining and predictive analytics. It allows users to blend data from disparate sources, including Microsoft Excel, Hadoop, and Salesforce, with built-in... Read More
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Alteryx is a business intelligence platform for data analysts that offers data mining and predictive analytics. It allows users to blend data from disparate sources, including Microsoft Excel, Hadoop, and Salesforce, with built-in... Read More
 
arcplan logo
 
arcplan offers three self-service business intelligence platforms to help organizations meet their needs. arcplan Enterprise features dashboards and reporting functions, including drag and drop capabilities that allow users to easily... Read More
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arcplan offers three self-service business intelligence platforms to help organizations meet their needs. arcplan Enterprise features dashboards and reporting functions, including drag and drop capabilities that allow users to easily... Read More
 
Splunk Enterprise logo
 
The Splunk Enterprise platform allows users to process and index most forms of data in their native format. It includes data indexing tools, which enable users to locate specific data across large data sets. The software is designed... Read More
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The Splunk Enterprise platform allows users to process and index most forms of data in their native format. It includes data indexing tools, which enable users to locate specific data across large data sets. The software is designed... Read More
 
Oracle BI Standard Edition One logo
 
Oracle Business Intelligence Standard Edition One is a business intelligence suite geared toward small and midsized companies. Its drag and drop features simplify report and dashboard creation, and users can generate a variety of documents,... Read More
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Oracle Business Intelligence Standard Edition One is a business intelligence suite geared toward small and midsized companies. Its drag and drop features simplify report and dashboard creation, and users can generate a variety of documents,... Read More
 
Microsoft SQL Server - BI Edition logo
 
Microsoft SQL Server Business Intelligence (BI) Edition is a database management and BI software solution designed for companies of all sizes. The system offers relational database management, which allows users to access enterprise... Read More
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Microsoft SQL Server Business Intelligence (BI) Edition is a database management and BI software solution designed for companies of all sizes. The system offers relational database management, which allows users to access enterprise... Read More

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Buyer's Guide

by Justin Guinn,
Market Research Associate
Last Updated: July 24, 2017


Cleanliness is next to godliness, as the old saying goes, and this holds true for data and information as much as it does for human beings. As a business, you rely on your data to be correct, complete and up-to-date, so you can make the right decisions. Thus, it can be disastrous for you if that data is inaccurate.

However, given the vast quantities of data that flow in and out of the modern business, it's impossible to ask a human being, or even an entire team, to monitor your data and check for problems, gaps and inconsistencies. Only data cleaning tools can scour your database for these sorts of issues and automatically replace, modify or delete the flawed data.

This buyer's guide will explain what data cleaning tools are, explore their common features and point to some of the bigger issues your business should be concerned about when selecting the right data cleaning software for you.

Here's what we'll cover:

What Are Data Cleaning Tools?
Data Cleaning vs. Data Validating
Common Features of Data Cleaning Tools
What Type of Buyer Are You?
Key Considerations

What Are Data Cleaning Tools?

Success in business, and in business intelligence, relies on information—who has it, what they do with it and how good it is. Your business is only as strong as the quality of its data, so you should analyze your past and present successes in order to replicate them in the future, while simultaneously exploring what went wrong with your failures in order to avoid recreating them.

However, not all data is created equal. Generally, your data comes in the form of a record set, table or database, and each of those is equally likely to have a variety of incorrect, inconsistent or duplicate data points. This can be caused by a multitude of issues, including user entry and corruption of the file while in transmission or in storage. Whatever the reason it exists, though, that bad data needs to go.

That's where data cleaning tools come in. These software systems will scan through your information and find the data which stands out as being problematic. Depending on the system and your preferences, you can either have that data automatically scrubbed or replaced, or you can just have it flagged for manual review and updating.

Data cleaning can take a variety of forms:

  • Finding and removing typographical errors
  • Checking and validating entries against a list of known entities
  • Enhancing the data with extra, related information
  • Standardization and harmonization of data, so that all data uses the same standards of codes, measurements, and words
  • Cross-checking with a validated data set

Data Cleaning vs. Data Validation

Though they can sometimes be mistakenly used interchangeably, there's an important distinction between data cleaning and data validation:

  • Data cleaning. As discussed above, data cleaning takes an existing set of data (a table, record set, database etc.) and scans through it to search for certain specified errors, inconsistencies and blank spots.
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  • Data validation. Data validation is performed at the time of data entry. It is not something that is performed on data that is already at hand, but rather ensures that the data will not need to be cleaned at a later date by validating it as it is originally entered.

Common Features of Data Cleaning Tools

Data profiling Scan through your data to find patterns, missing values, character sets and other important data value characteristics. Through creating this profile, the software will then know what sticks out as being incorrect or problematic, in comparison.
Data elimination Mapped against the profile created by going through the data, as well as against a validated list of known entities, the software will rid your database of duplicate data, bad entries and incorrect information.
Data transformation Working hand-in-hand with data elimination, this will take bad data and transform it into good data by correcting typos, standardizing/harmonizing data, converting values and normalizing numeric values to conform to minimum and maximum values.
Data standardization Scan through your data and put it all into a common format that you've selected (for example, taking Imperial system measurements and standardizing them to the Metric System) so that large amounts of data can be more easily analyzed.
Data harmonization Similar to data standardization, this will take data from a variety of sources and put them into a common format. This will allows both users and automated data analytics tools to be able to compare, review and analyze data that comes from more than one source.
Data enhancement This is a feature of more robust data cleaning tools, which will allow the software to connect information across databases in order to add related information to the entries it is scanning (such as adding addresses to a list of names).

 

Data quality dashboard on data analytics tool Halo

Data quality dashboard on data analytics tool Halo

What Type of Buyer Are You?

No matter the size or scale of your business, you're likely relying on some kind of database to keep track of your contacts, customers, inventory or other important pieces of information. In order to ensure that the database you're using is correct and up-to-date, you will find data cleaning tools useful.

However, not all businesses are alike, and neither are the data cleaning tools for those businesses. Appropriate tools will be based on the size and scale of the business. Your own business will fall into one of the following categories, based on its size:

  • Small business (Under 10 employees). Though your small business may not be able to afford all the features of some data cleaning tools, the good news is that you may not have to. At a smaller size, businesses have less data to worry about, and can get by with some of the more basic data cleaning systems with fewer features.
  •   
  • Midsize business (10-100 employees). At the midsize business level, you are in some ways faced with the worst of both worlds—you have enough data that you need to ensure it is clean and up-to-date, but you probably can't afford to hire a specific team or individual to maintain it. Robust data cleaning tools with a wide array of features will thus be important to your business, so you can maintain high-quality data at a reasonable cost.
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  • Large business (100-500 employees). Larger businesses will definitely need a robust data cleaning tool that can go through the large amount of data that flows in and out of your records and databases. Though you may be able to afford to hire a dedicated team to maintain data cleaning, they will still ultimately rely on high-quality software to enable them to do their jobs more efficiently.

Key Considerations

Other factors to take into consideration when choosing the right data cleaning tools for your business include:

Access to other systems. In order for data cleaning tools to work, they need access to your data. This may be housed in a variety of places within your computer systems—in your business intelligence software, your customer relationship management software, your project management software or anywhere else that you house large amounts of important information—and thus requires the data cleaning tools to be compatible with the interface and formatting of those databases. Be sure to check with the vendor that the data cleaning tools you are purchasing will be able to access and clean all of your information across these various databases.

Cloud-based software vs. on-premise software. Only a few years ago, software was mostly housed on-premise, meaning that companies had to maintain the physical hardware for the products they purchased, necessitating both storage space and IT knowledge/resources. This made that software more difficult to use for smaller businesses. Today, however, most data cleaning tools can be purchased and employed using a cloud-based model, where the hardware is housed by the vendor and the software is simply deployed by accessing it over the internet. This makes those tools more readily available to small-to-midsize businesses without high-level IT resources, especially since cloud-based software is often quicker and easier to use than on-premise solutions, with fewer up-front costs.

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