In order to set up effective strategies quickly and easily, every company must analyze its results and make the most of its experience. To do this, they must process and extract as much information as possible from a considerable amount of data. It is therefore essential that this raw data is transformed into accurate and readable information to make the decision-making process easier.
With Powerslide, the data categorization and the data transformation and enhancement features allow business users to prepare and present their data easily, without having to go through data exerts or an IT department before they can understand it. We will explain how to do this throughout this article.
Why is it useful to prepare your data?
When you want to make the best possible decisions for your business, you need to extract as much information as possible from the data you have. Very often, our raw data includes useless or non-understandable information for third parties. This is why the data preparation is a crucial step in order to better analyze it.
According to a study by Experian Marketing Services, in 2014, French companies estimated that just under 20% of their data was inaccurate and acknowledged that this had an impact on their decision making. Indeed, since a company's decisions are based on its experience and results, it is therefore crucial that the data collected and analyzed for these decisions are accurate.
Clear and precise data will allow to make quick and efficient decisions. In the age of digitalization and Big Data, keeping data "clean" is a real challenge. That's why with Powerslide, we strive to simplify data processing and analysis for everyone.
How to upload and prepare your data in Powerslide?
Before proceeding to data preparation, you need to upload your data into Powerslide. There are several ways to do this:
- Upload an Excel or a CSV file
- Create a connexion to your database
- Connect your Google account to Powerslide to use Google Sheets files
Integrate your data in Powerslide
In this article, we will focus on the first method: uploading an Excel or a CSV file. But you can find a step by step description of the other methods in our documentation.
To make sure you don't encounter any errors when importing your Excel file, the first thing you need to do is to make sure it doesn't contain any pivot tables or unwanted elements such as unused formulas in certain cells etc.
Integrate your dataset into Powerslide by going to the Datasources part, click on Import, select your file, check that it is the data you need and change the settings if necessary (change the title or uncheck the header button if your file doesn't contain ay) and then click on Import Datasource as on this GIF.
You can also drag your file and drop it into the Datasoures part instead of clicking on Import as follows:
Now that the data have been uploaded, we can proceed to data preparation.
Properly qualify your data
An important step in preparing data before using it in Powerslide is to qualify it. Indeed, in order to be used in the most efficient way, the data type must be correctly identified.
When the data is imported into Powerslide, it is parsed and a type is assigned to each column. However, some types can sometimes be confused. It is therefore essential to check the typing of your data before using it.
The data to which you should pay particular attention are data of the following types: GPS coordinates, date or geo, because if they are properly classified, the type of graph proposed for their use will be more appropriate.
To change the type of a column, click on the column header and select the desired data type using the drop-down menu.
As you can see on the GIF above, the date type data will also allow you to select the date format, while choosing the GPS coordinates type will give you access to the choice of the coordinate format. Finally, with the geo data type, you will be able to choose a GeoJSON map to match your dataset.
Improve the quality of your data
The final step in data preparation before creating compelling presentations is to ensure the quality of the data. Having a lot of data, but containing unreadable or useless data would only serve to complicate your charting and data analysis.
A simple way to clarify your data is to start by deleting columns that you don't need. For example, if your data file contains the detailed addresses of your customers in the form of a number column, a lane column and a city column, but you only want to display how many customers you have by city, then you can delete the number and lane columns and keep only the city column. This way your dataset will be clearer and you won't have to juggle dozens and dozens of columns when creating your presentations.
To delete a column, click on its header and then on Delete in the lower left corner of the banner that appears.
Another available feature for data preparation in Powerslide is adding a new column. Indeed, Powerslide offers a set of functions to compute data from the existing columns of your dataset.
The different functions available for data generation can be separated into 5 categories:
- Those that can be used to manipulate numbers
- Those used on strings
- Those used to perform calculations on dates
- The comparators
- Logical operators
To add a column, click on the + button next to the title of the data source, then use the banner that appears on the right to fill in the name of the new column and build the formula that will generate the data for it with the help of the usable functions. In the GIF below, we add a "Customer number" column from the existing "CUSTOMER" column which contains data of the form "CUSTOMER <CUSTOMER NUMBER>" (for example: "CUSTOMER 1", "CUSTOMER 2", ...).
To do so, we use the formula:
substring(CUSTOMER, 10, 2)
which means that we extract 2 characters from the 10th character of the string from the CUSTOMER column.
Data preparation is an essential step to accelerate and improve the efficiency of decision making in a company. Thanks to the data source modification interface, to the automatic data typing and to the different data manipulation functions available in Powerslide, this data preparation is made accessible and simple for each actor of the decision-making process.
Come and get the most out of your data using Powerslide!