What is data cleaning, cleansing and scrubbing?

Data cleansing, data cleaning or data scrubbing is the first step in the overall data preparation process. It is the process of analyzing, identifying and correcting messy, raw data. Data cleaning involves filling in missing values, identifying and fixing errors and determining if all the information is in the right rows and columns. When analyzing organizational data to make strategic decisions you must start with a thorough data cleansing process. Cleaning data is crucial to data analysis. Data cleaning lays the groundwork for efficient, accurate and effective data analysis. Without cleaning data beforehand, the analysis process won’t be clear or as accurate because the information in the dataset will be unorganized and scattered. Good analysis rests on clean data–it’s as simple as that.