We live in an information-centric world, those who have the information have the power. And while it may seem advantageous to constantly have your finger on the pulse of data flowing about your business and the industry, it quickly becomes a challenge to make something out of all those numbers and figures.
This is where data processing comes in: the capacity to research, collect, visualise and manipulate information to extract something useful from them. Control and understanding of large amounts of data is crucial to the success of a business, and data processing can help you reach the goals you’ve set for yourself easier.
But how exactly can data processing help a business?
What does data processing do?
Data processing can be roughly divided into 7 processes:
- Validation, which means making sure that the data you’ve gathered is credible and well-researched
- Sorting, where information is collated under several different categorisations or sets for clarity
- Summarisation, the process where data is reduced to its most essential points;
- Aggregation, where the different data sets are combined again into one coherent data unit for easier handling
- Analysis, the close study, collection, interpretation and manipulation of data is done to extract the needed information
- Reporting, where the results of the earlier analysis are presented in such a way that is easily understood
- Classification, in which the finished product from the earlier process is stored or integrated into a strategy for future reference or use
These processes are essential to ensuring that data you receive is worth something. While there are certainly some steps that can be combined, following the logical order outlined above can give the data that you process a much more credible background, and therefore a less risky option by using it in your strategies.
How does this help my business?
In one word, strategy.
Information is everywhere - that much is true. But the ability to extrapolate the information that matters is key to staying ahead in today’s competitive environment. With so many channels of information pouring through our view, we can’t possibly be expected to catch everything at first glance. That’s where data processing comes in handy - with a logical, well-thought out series of carefully tested steps, an overall picture emerges.
More often than not, this picture can decide the strategy that your company will follow in the future. Data processed information can form the basis of sales strategies, advertising campaigns or even investor reports. The content and knowledge that can be gained from properly following data processing is massive - you only need to use them.
Processed data is the modern equivalent of prophecy - with the proper understanding of what’s happened before and what’s happening now, it’s possible to paint a picture of what happens next. Even if the flow of information may seem great at times, the process that accounts for all the data can make looking ahead far easier.
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