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What is data wrangling?

Businesses of the modern age generate huge amounts of data every day and the data gathered continues to grow as more channels for accumulating information emerge. It is becoming increasingly important for businesses to organise and utilise the invaluable tool that is data and data wrangling can support this.

In basic terms data wrangling is the process of unifying and organising different data sets.

Businesses typically find that their data comes from many different sources and this means that it can become scattered and unorganised. Messy data is harder to access and analysis, limiting its capabilities that could prove useful for expanding business and gaining a competitive edge.

Data wrangling is the process where individuals manually convert and map raw data into another format in order to make it more accessible and usable. Data wrangling is a sizeable task and one that will continue to grow as new technology emerges, providing new data sources. But getting ahead now and creating a plan to organise your data could have big benefits in the short and long term.

While data wrangling sounds complex, it doesn’t have to be. The key is having a process in place that considers your information and its end use but it’s also important to take a flexible approach and adapt where necessary.

The first thing you should do is identify what information you want to use. This allows data wranglers to focus on areas that will be useful. Secondly, you need to think about who will be using the information, as this will affect how it should be presented for the biggest benefits.

Why is data wrangling important?

While data wrangling may be time consuming it is a very important part of data management. The data that business collect on a day to day basis can help them make informed decision, based on historic data, trends and the latest information available. Having access to a wealth of knowledge means that businesses are better able to understand their customers and as a result improve operations.

Data wrangling allows businesses to correlate the data they have collected and turn it into a meaningful story and find hidden insights that they can then use during decision-making processes. Successfully using a data wrangling process means that businesses can benefit from new analytic initiatives, improved reporting efficiency and much more.

As businesses increasingly rely on the data they collect to make judgements, data wrangling too will become a crucial function that businesses should invest in.

To discover more about data wrangling, register free for Big Data LDN at Olympia London on 3-4 November 2016. The event will host leading, global data and analytics experts, ready to arm you with the tools to deliver your most effective data-driven strategy.

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