The Process of Improving Data Quality

By Stephen Boyle
August 6, 2015

This blog is part of our “How to Be a Better Pricing Strategist” series, in which we asked top thought leaders and industry experts in the pricing field: “What is the best advice you could give a fellow pricing strategist?” Read all the responses here.

The quality of your pricing analytics can only be as good as the quality of your source data. Good data is essential to effective analyses and competent pricing decisions.

But, this does not mean that you should wait until you have a perfect dataset before you begin putting that information to use. Big data and perfect data are not synonymous, so do not become paralyzed in a search for a utopian dataset. Rather, keep a watchful eye for anomalies, and when one arises, take the time to investigate if that abnormality is valid or not.

READ MORE: How Do You Implement a Pricing Project? One Step at a Time…

You cannot chase every rabbit down every hole. But, when you do uncover and correct one segment of bad data, also check the immediate vicinity – items in the same product group, items from the same manufacturing location or vendor and items that consist of identical or similar components. You may be able to quickly discover and correct other issues with less research and exploration than was required for that initial finding.

Much like gardening, managing and improving the quality of your data is a constant, ongoing process. Just because you go through and pull all the weeds in the spring, does not mean that your garden will remain weed-free all year long. The vigilance of continually identifying, removing and correcting flawed data should help you recognize if you have recurring sources of faulty information, potentially allowing the root causes to be remedied at their origins rather than pursuing and fixing the effects of those sources of bad data.

To read more expert tips and advice, take a look at our Pricing Best Practices SlideBook here.

  • best practices , big data , data , pricing , pricing analytics , Pricing Strategy

    Stephen Boyle

    Stephen Boyle has worked in pricing at Appleton Group (a business unit of Emerson Industrial Automation, one of five business segments of Emerson) for over eight years, starting as a Quotations Supervisor and currently in the role of Director of Pricing. During his time at Appleton Group, he has worked on incorporating several of the company's brands into Appleton's centralized pricing department. Most recently, he has focused on implementing pricing discipline and structure for EGS Canada, a subsidiary of Appleton Group. Boyle holds a B.A. in Communications/Film Studies from Trinity Christian College in Palos Heights, IL and resides in the South Suburbs of Chicago.