How To Clean Up Dirty Data (and Polish PR)

Katie Paine

There is no bigger cause of embarrassment, stress and bad decisions in the communications profession than results that you can’t explain. With big data comes bad data, and most tools leave it up to you the communicator to figure out what’s good data and what’s bad data. Here are some tips on how to make sure your data is as immaculate as possible.
▶ Check for dupes. The easiest bad data to spot is duplicate items in your database. Lets assume you’ve got a database that is in Excel. Click on Sort & Filter and select Custom Sort. Look for instances where you see the same story in the same publication on the same date. Chances are pretty good, that’s a dupe.
Now, you need to figure out why it’s in there. Some monitoring companies use multiple searches or “subscriptions” to organize their searches. This methodology frequently leads to duplicate articles, especially if you’re searching for more than one brand.

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