The Art of Data Extraction

Data is a precious thing and will last longer than the systems themselves.

Tim Berners-Lee

To stay competitive, nowadays, companies more than ever need to optimize their processes. To achieve this goal, a reliable tool in their disposal is their data, which can help them not only to increase their efficiency but also to eliminate costs. However, going through vast streams of consumer statistics and customer data is a colossal task. For companies, regardless of their size, it is vital to invest in more efficient processes such as data extraction, which helps them to determine the current market trends and what customers want.

Data Extraction

can be defined as the act of retrieving data out of (in most cases not well structured) data sources for further data processing or data storage. Often, companies extract data to analyze it further or migrate it to data warehouses or other data repository. In order to save time and resources, more and more companies try to automate the process of data extraction.

Some of the clear benefits that automated data extraction can bring to your company are:
Improving accuracy – extracting data provides you with valuable information, it saves time, resources, and money by automatically gathering the information you need. Automating data extraction will help improve the accuracy of your data and the reports based on it in the long and short term by eliminating possible human error.
Further transformation – once the data is extracted, it’s easier to be transformed and further used for analytical purposes.
Increasing productivity – automating data entry allows employees to spend their time on more relevant and meaningful tasks. Moreover, it increases their entire productivity and leads to an increase in job
satisfaction.
Improving visibility – data extraction and automation gives your employees full visibility of vital records, simplifying the management of stored information and
data. There will be no waiting for manually entering the data and everyone can access it when he needs it.

Data extraction

Tips for Mastering Data Extraction

Although the benefits of data extractions are undeniable, there are numerous challenges that companies must face against, such as ensuring that one can join the data from multiple sources in a way that makes sense as well as ensuring the security of the data during the extraction process. Several tips that can help companies mastering data extraction are:
Define the right data for extraction – before starting with the extraction, you must define what data will be useful and what not for your purposes. Extracting all available data can lead to data overabundance and
disorientated conclusions, resulting in making bad business decisions. One way to decide what is the most suitable data to extract is to identify what are your business goals and how to measure them.
Validate the data – make sure that the data has values and format as expected. Check if dates are interpreted in the correct format, if the numeric values are stored like numbers, etc. Do not forget to make a basic sanity check of the values – if you find the
data suspicious, double-check with the source.

Make data extraction results available – do not only distribute the reports, based on the extracted data to the highest level in the organization. All parties who will interact with customers will benefit from knowing the complete information about those customers. The extracted data should be collected incomprehensible reports that will be understandable even for employees that are not directly involved in the extraction process.
Retain old data – avoid discarding old data even if it is not up to date anymore, as old data can help you assess the market trends and conditions in the past and serve as a historical reference source for future planning. Though there are various tools for data extraction, companies are only beginning to realize the importance of the process and its potential. Data extraction is much more than just gathering your corporate data in one place. It can help companies transform their entire business by letting them focus their resources where matters most. Tools such as Qlik can extract data from disparate data sources and associate them to present a single version of the truth by designing meaningful and functional data models.


How B EYE Can Help You

At B EYE, we empower business users by transforming the data deluge into meaningful insights. Our team of professionals can help you structure your whole ETL process, create highly polished pixel-perfect reports and efficiently bring data to your people. Start mastering your data by contacting us.