The longer a business exists, the more data will be duplicated. Though this may be a fact of business life, it’s still something that slows businesses down and costs valuable employee time. If you want to reduce redundant data, you’ll want to follow the tips below.
Encourage Developer Communication
One of the most important steps you can take to reduce redundant data is to get people to talk to one another about their projects. If one person is building a new database for a project, he or she should see if similar work has already occurred in a project that might be related to his or her own. This might seem like it’s common sense, but the number of people who would rather build something new from scratch than engage in even basic conversations about their work really is higher than you might think.
Once you’ve got your developers onboard, it’s time to start looking at how redundancies occur. Not only is a lack of verbal communication a key factor, but so too is the fact that not everyone leaves appropriate documentation about the data they are adding. Simply encouraging everyone who works with your databases to take a few moments and log the fact that they’ve entered something is a great way to stop others from duplicating a process.
Conduct Regular Audits
While documentation and communication are great, mistakes will still happen. This is why consistent audits of your databases are a must, even when doing so can seem time consuming. Using identity resolution software can help you identify areas where the same entity is being referenced in a variety of ways. Now, instead of having 12 different folders all talking about the same entity, you can combine them and cross-reference properly so that your database isn’t cluttered with repeats. However, it’s going to take a significant shift in your business processes to ensure that the same mistakes don’t happen again.
Integrate the Data
Finally, it is almost certainly going to be a necessity for many companies to start integrating their various databases into more streamlined replacements. This can be a laborious process to be sure, but it’s also one that will eventually pay dividends. Integration may require the help of an outside party but it will help you to ensure that you’ve properly cleaned up your redundancies and that you can move forward with a clean slate.
If you want to reduce redundant data, you have to make that a goal that’s understood across the company. Those working with databases need to be in contact with one another and leave documentation, while others need to be responsible for auditing their work. It’s only through a concerted effort that cleaning up duplicates can become a project that’s done only rarely.