TechDogs-"Solve Data Puzzles With Data Preparation Tools"

Data Management

Solve Data Puzzles With Data Preparation Tools

By TechDogs

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Remember jigsaw puzzles? We loved solving them as kids. It used to fill us up with pride, looking at the complete picture once we’d connected every tiny puzzle piece. Although it would be challenging and tiresome to make sense out of individual puzzle pieces, as the big picture evolved slowly, the hard work felt worth it, right? #SweatHard

Imagine each jigsaw piece as a random data point – surely it will make no sense. However, once every piece comes together, the data points become meaningful information!

In the real world, the information we consume from everywhere is a data point in the first place. It would have been so tough to manage a giant jigsaw puzzle of data with millions of unique pieces. Thankfully, we have skilled puzzle solvers, such as Data Preparation Tools, who can make meaningful information out of data points by putting the data pieces in place to form a beautiful big picture.

These tools analyze the shape and patterns of the pieces (data points) and connect them intelligently to make the big picture clear.

Quite philosophical, right? (Well, puzzles make everyone feel like an intellectual!)

Read the article and learn about Data Preparation Tools!

TechDogs-"Solve Data Puzzles With Data Preparation Tools"-"THAT'S NOT HOW YOU PREPARE DATA!"
Today, businesses rely on data analytics to make decisions. However, the raw data has no value or meaning until it provides insight. Therefore, before data analysis, the data needs to be prepared and pre-processed – a practice called data preparation.

In a jigsaw puzzle, every piece holds its place and contributes to making the big picture. Similarly, every piece of data is important until it is processed into information. Data Preparation Tools are applications that clean and structure each jigsaw piece into the perfect place to prepare the data for analysis.

People who are responsible for getting data ready for data analysis understand very well that the most challenging part of the job is data preparation and the time it consumes. In the past, it was discovered that about 80% of the whole data analysis process is spent on data cleaning and preparation. This shows the importance of having a puzzle-solver AKA Data Preparation Tools!

We are solving the puzzle of Data Preparation Tools today – read on!

What Are Data Preparation Tools?

Before we discuss Data Preparation Tools, let’s understand what data preparation is in the first place. As the term ‘data preparation’ says itself, it’s a preparation of data, often called pre-processing – an act of cleaning and consolidating the raw data before using it for business analytics and machine learning. A tool that helps you perform these activities is called a Data Preparation Tool.

Data preparation software helps you gather, combine, structure and organize the data for data visualization applications. The tool pre-processes, profiles, cleans, validates and transforms the data collected from different internal and external sources.

Whenever the data is created, it is often created with missing values and is in different formats. The primary purpose of data preparation software is to correct data errors, validate data quality and refine relevant data so that analytical applications can offer meaningful insights to businesses to make confident decisions.

However, if you wonder how Data Preparation Tools became a necessity, let’s go back in time to understand the requirement in the first place.

The Brief History Of Data Preparation Tools

Data evolution has to be one of the most dramatic evolutions. As per reports, in 2010, the world created around two zettabytes of digital information! However, we all know data hasn’t always been digital.

Before computers were invented, data was primarily recorded on paper or other physical mediums. Manual record-keeping and simple file systems were used to organize and retrieve data.

In the year 1960, Charles Bachman created a navigational DBMS (Database Management System) known as the Integrated Data Store, which revolutionized data storage. As the database grew in popularity during the 1970s, ETL (Extract, Transform, Load) was introduced as a process to integrate and load data for computation and analysis.

Soon, businesses started relying on data warehouse solutions to transform the raw data into usable formats for reporting and analysis. Businesses started making decisions out of them and the rise of self-service analytics led to the development of dedicated data preparation platforms.

Over the years, the advancement of technologies has made data preparation platforms smarter and more advanced. Today, data management tools are integrated with technologies like Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to ease its preparation.

Let us ask you a question - how do you solve a jigsaw? You may first flip all the pieces facing up, sort them in groups, assemble borders and so on.

TechDogs-"The Brief History Of Data Preparation Tools"-"A GIF - The Simpsons Solving Jigsaw Puzzle - How Do Data Preparation Tools Work"
Similarly, Data Preparation Tools also work in steps.

How Do Data Preparation Tools Work?

Data Preparation Tools work in four simple steps. The steps are as follows:
  • Collecting Data

    Collecting data can be an exhausting task since it involves various data sources like local storage, warehouse, cloud, applications, etc. The different data types, their volume and formats add further complexity.

  • Cleaning Data

    Data cleaning involves rectifying errors and completing missing information to enhance data quality. Once the data is cleaned, it can be transformed into a uniform, readable format. This transformation encompasses adjusting field formats (such as dates and currency), refining naming rules and ensuring consistency in values and units of measurement.

  • Labeling Data

    Data labeling involves identifying raw data (like images, text files and videos) and attaching informative labels to offer context for Machine Learning (ML) models to learn. Data labeling is essential for tasks like computer vision, natural language processing and speech recognition.

  • Validating Data

    Once data is cleaned and labeled, ML teams verify its accuracy and preparation for machine learning models. The prepared data can be stored or channeled into third-party applications such as Business Intelligence tools, where data processing and analysis take place.

The steps must have given you a clear idea about how data preparation solutions work. Talking about data might give you an idea that data preparation solutions are limited to IT. However, that is not the case.

Keep scrolling to learn the use cases of data preparation solutions!

What Are The Use Cases Of Data Preparation Tools?

While data has been part of every industry, here are the use cases of Data Preparation Tools:
  • Healthcare

    Effective data preparation empowers healthcare and pharmaceutical enterprises to expedite research and development, hasten drug discovery and accelerate the delivery of innovative therapies.

  • Insurance

    Data preparation facilitates various applications within the insurance industry, including customer profiling, financial risk management and underwriting loans.

  • Manufacturing

    Data preparation is vital in enabling various use cases within the manufacturing sector, including supply chain optimization, asset management and operational intelligence.

  • Public Sector

    Data preparation also facilitates cybersecurity applications, enhancing the secure experience and streamlining security event management.

Technology and data have reached every corner of the world and therefore, there will always be requirements for Data Preparation Tools. Is the businessman inside you puzzled about what you will get if you adopt this tool? Don’t worry, as the benefits bring piece of mind to you.

Remember, even the smallest piece can complete the biggest picture!

TechDogs-"What Are The Use Cases Of Data Preparation Tools?"-"A GIF - The Simpsons - Solving Jigsaw Puzzle - The Benefits of Data Preparation Tools"  

What Are The Benefits Of Data Preparation Tools?

Apart from providing managed and refined data for data analytics tools, it serves many benefits, as listed below.
  • Efficient Data Compilation

    Incorporating more efficient processes into your business is always a positive move. Since time equals money, integrating the best Data Preparation Tools can expedite your data projects, directly influencing your financial outcomes.

  • Fixing Data Errors

    Data preparation usually involves data validation checks, a crucial step to ensure data accuracy. By utilizing tools and software, errors can be readily identified. Rules can be established and modifications can be applied while cleaning and formatting the data.

  • Implementing Changes

    When managing multiple data sources, a key challenge is implementing universal changes across diverse datasets. However, with the best Data Preparation Tools, you can implement global changes swiftly.

  • Business Decisions

    Enhanced data quality directly enhances a business's decision-making capabilities. Employing data preparation software primarily ensures confidence by minimizing human errors.

If the benefits are not convincing (really?), let us tell you that it is not too late to join the party, as Data Preparation Tools hold a bright future as new technologies emerge. 

The Future Of Data Preparation Tools

As per the reports, the data preparation market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 22.5% in the coming five years (2022-2027). To remain competitive, companies are seeking expedited debugging and meaningful insights. This has led to widespread demand for analytics, especially in the realm of data analytics, across various businesses.
  • Augmented Analytics

    Augmented analytics, derived by leveraging natural language processing (NLP), AI/ ML and automation, will bring business intelligence and data visualization, challenging traditional data preparation tools. These functionalities will let users give a basic search query via typing or speech and get instant real-time visualizations and data explanations. This will ease out the data preparation tasks. Quite handy, right?

  • Relationship Analytics

    While businesses deal with diverse data sources, relationship analytics will bring connectivity between seemingly unrelated data and provide a comprehensive view. It will add a new dimension to data procedures, enhancing analysis and insights.

  • Business Intelligence

    Business intelligence tools will be able to focus more on enhanced data preparation with integrated user-friendly drag-and-drop features and advanced governance to manage data flow control within business ecosystems. #EverythingEveryoneAllAtOnce

The future of Data Preparation Tools will expand the scope of data analytics capabilities and bring automation to the fore. Onwards and upwards!

We have come to the final piece of the puzzle. Read on!

TechDogs-"The Final Piece"-"A GIF Of Man Putting The Last Piece of Jigsaw In Sky - Conclusion"  

The Final Piece

There is no doubt about the potential of Data Preparation Tools. These tools have been helping businesses make meaningful, actionable insights and information out of unstructured data. Where data analytics is becoming more advanced and trying to solve every puzzle, Data Preparation Tools will grow along with its demand.

So, what are you waiting for? Put the final piece and adopt this tool to get a bigger picture of success for your business!

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