Whether you work a specific job that requires you to digitally enter and organize data, or you are just using computers in your own time and need to stay collected and orderly, data organization is an essential skill for computer usage. Just like organizing your physical belongings is key to staying focused and less confused in your own space, organizing data on your computer or other digital devices is crucial to keeping on task. While data organization refers to keeping your information organized, there are other methods to organization that involve cleaning out the system and keeping the essential information you need, just like house cleaning. Additionally, you may need to organize your data for presentation purposes. Here are three effective ways to organize your digital information for both presentation and storage.
1. Data Scrubbing
Data scrubbing, data cleansing, or data cleaning, is just what it sounds like. It is the process of cleaning out data and is a critical first step to the data organization and data presentation processes. When you require data for analysis and presentation, ensuring that all of the raw data – unstructured and unformatted data - is properly identified and dealt with is an important first step before you can begin the presentation and analysis processes.
Think of it in real world terms, again using the physical belongings analogy: to properly display a clean house and to keep everything in the room organized, you will have to clean out the clutter. The data scrubbing process automatically assesses and eliminates the unneeded information that clogs up your folders and computer’s space. An important step to organizing data for any purpose is to set aside and remove the unstructured raw data. With the right tools and software, you will remove any excess data. With that accomplished, your data will be set for presentation or any other purpose you need.
2. Charts and Graphs
While data organization can refer to simply cleaning up unstructured and unneeded files, the process also refers to placing your data in digestible formats. Going further with the concept of presenting data, there are many ways you can organize and clean your data to make it accessible for presentations.
One of these methods is to organize your data in charts and graphs. Once you get all of the essential pieces of information that you need straightened out and ordered, presenting them as one cluster of information will usually not suffice. This is why you should break apart each bit of information, and one of the better ways of illustrating your points via data is by compiling the information into a visual format like a graph or a chart.
If you use a Windows device, programs that come with the Microsoft Office suite such as Word and Excel can perform these organizational tasks easily. When compiling your data into one of these formats, your presentation will be easier to follow than otherwise.
3. Organization by Category and Attributes
Another effective way of compartmentalizing and organizing your data would be to arrange them by category. This can be done in numerous ways depending on the information reflected in your data. For instance, if the data you gather relates to sales figures, then you could categorize based on the amount of money indicated, such as higher prices and lower prices. Other categorization fields could include simple attributes such as gender, age, color, genre, and the list goes on.
In addition to categorization, other modes of effective organization include arranging files based on attributes related directly to the file itself, such as its time – arranging by date – or its name – arranging by alphabetization.
There are many other ways to keep files organized, but the point is to make sure your data files are arranged in an accessible manner. The key to effective data presentation is to keep organized as well as tidy, so no matter which method works best for you, make sure you maintain focus.