By Susan Walsh 05 Sep, 2017

It's not just about getting the classification right, it's about using the right tools to do it.  Here's some tips to get the most out of your taxonomy. 

  • Keep it consistent, either detailed or generic in all areas 
  • Check your data, does the taxonomy cover all areas you require? 
  • Do the level 2,3,4 options sit under the correct level 1? 
  • Have you got any duplications? 
  • Is it too detailed?/Not detailed enough? 

Sometimes you won't know something is missing until you start using your taxonomy, if you would like it checked or receive some advice about how to optimise, contact the The Classification Guru

By Susan Walsh 15 Aug, 2017

When checking through classified data, there's always a few common mistakes that will pop up in almost every file. By considering the following while classifying data this will help reduce the amount of errors in the data. 

Cut and paste error. 

Probably the most common and the easiest mistake to make, sometimes the CTRL+C shortcut doesn’t pick up and you end up pasting the classification from before. 

Misread description.  

If a description is just skimmed, then errors can easily happen. A good example would be if the description said "supplies for restaurant" which should go under catering supplies, however if the whole description is not read it could end up under entertainment. 

The vendor and description have not been looked at as a whole. 

If you only classify by description then serious errors can occur. An example I use is a vendor was classified as a restaurant, the description was a restaurant, but the vendor name was LinkedIn. 

Not getting the first levels of the taxonomy correct. 

If you are working with multiple level taxonomies, in particular the UNSPSC, then it's very easy to look at commodity level without checking the first few levels. An example of this can be seen below, although both of these options sit under the same Segment, there is a significant difference in Family and Class which could have an impact on your reporting. 

By Susan Walsh 01 Aug, 2017

" Of course ,” you think. But look closer and you may discover significant spend classified against the wrong item. It happens in organisations across the world; no-one is immune.  And the results aren’t pretty - decisions based on incorrectly classified data are bad for business.  

Working with The Classification Guru will change that. You’ll take back control of your data and make better data-driven decisions. 

Why does poorly classified data matter?   

It depends on how successful you want to be. Basing time-consuming analysis on inaccurate data is time and money poorly spent. And a decision based on that analysis could be dangerous.  

Well-classified data means more accurate reports, which means more appropriate decisions. Negotiation, forecasting, budgeting; they all work better with correctly classified data. And that’s what The Classification Guru wants for you. 

More data shouldn’t mean more problems.  

Many businesses rely on thousands and millions of rows of data. Data-checking can be daunting, time-consuming and resource draining. And the more data there is, the more daunting it becomes. Splitting data reviews between teams may lead to inconsistencies, which won’t solve your problems either. 

Train your data management team to approach data reviews and future data classification with a consistent view point and you’ll get more powerful data. Let The Classification Guru’s classification and taxonomy training sharpen your team’s performance. 

Purchased data isn’t perfect data.   

Even classified data bought from a 3rd-party agency isn’t guaranteed to be accurate. Human input may mean cut and paste errors, even A.I. classification can mean data classified in the wrong context.  

A data check as standard with all new data sets eliminates the risk of poorly classified data weakening your decision-making. Work with The Classification Guru to build failsafe data checks into your business. 

Something for nothing?  

Call The Classification Guru today for a complimentary sample check on your classified data. Her vast experience in classification, an in-depth knowledge of data and legendary eye for detail will bring balance to your data and boost your decision making. 


About The Classification Guru 

I'm on a mission to help businesses improve their data accuracy and make better, stronger data-driven decisions. I’ve spent years classifying millions of rows of data across industries, countries and languages, and have spent a fair amount of time training teams to do the same thing. There's not much I haven't seen; no data-set is too badly classified and no taxonomy is too tricky. 

Want to save time, money and internal resources? Work with The Classification Guru. 


Contact The Classification Guru today: 

Susan Walsh 

By Susan Walsh 23 Jul, 2017

" It's  obvious, isn't  it? " I might hear you say, and yes it probably is but possibly not for all the reasons you think... 

1. Check that you have your data classified in the correct category.   

What if you have a large amount of marketing sitting under facilities? Or what about screws sitting under electrical consumables?  This can make a big difference. 

2. Check for multiple classifications against one vendor or description. 

Classification is not an exact science, quite often it is subjective and there can be more than one right answer.   Verification allows you to keep consistency within your data. 

3. Easily identify and fix any partially classified vendors. 

If data is updated over a period of time, you may end up with partially classified vendors.  Some will be easy to classify quickly, potentially making an impact what you see. 

4. Measure the performance of your team or 3rd party suppliers. 

We trust our colleagues and our 3rd party suppliers, but occasionally things can go wrong.  You can quickly spot and resolve any issues by data verification that may not be easy to pick up on, for example conflicts on the classification of an item based on a difference of opinions. 

5. Make better business decisions/negotiations. 

Because of all of the above, you will have more accurate, reliable and trustworthy data to guide you through your decision making or negotiating process. 

Thinking about verifying your data? Contact for a complimentary sample check on your data.

By Susan Walsh 10 Jul, 2017

The Classification Guru is a specialised service focused on helping your business get the best from its data, letting you make better informed decisions.


Let the Classification Guru help you with your:

·        Data verification

·        Taxonomy development

·        Training


The Classification Guru works on the principle that good data is the cornerstone of effective decision making, believing that bad data equals bad decisions.


You’re probably nodding. In fact, it sounds obvious. But incomplete or wrongly categorised data is more common than many people realise - raw data is often incorrectly classified or incomplete. And it’s only after in-depth spend analysis that these issues present themselves.


The Classification Guru (AKA Susan Walsh) has years of experience in classifying data; working with multiple taxonomies. She’s worked at the core of data classification, and has managed, trained and developed large teams of data classifiers.


Use the Classification Guru to fix your data; you’ll see more accurate and reliable data and have more confidence in making the right data-driven decisions for your business.


Want more faith in your data? Call the Classification Guru now for a no-obligation chat.


Susan Walsh

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