data scrubbing (data cleansing)

Data scrubbing, also called data cleansing, is the process of amending or removing data in a database that is incorrect, incomplete, improperly formatted, or duplicated. An organization in a data-intensive field like banking, insurance, retailing, telecommunications, or transportation might use a data scrubbing tool to systematically examine data for flaws by using rules, algorithms, and look-up tables. Typically, a database scrubbing tool includes programs that are capable of correcting a number of specific type of mistakes, such as adding missing zip codes or finding duplicate records. Using a data scrubbing tool can save a database administrator a significant amount of time and can be less costly than fixing errors manually.

This was last updated in August 2010
Posted by: Margaret Rouse
View the next item in this Essential Guide: data stewardship or view the full guide: Building an effective data governance framework

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