Data Classification (inc. Normalisation)
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Why should I classify my data?


By classifying your data you can

  • Increase profitability
  • Improve cost savings
  • Have better negotiations with your suppliers
  • Spot rogue or fraudulent spending
  • Find information quickly
  • Run reports quickly and easily
  • Make better business decisions


And don’t forget to include tail spend, it can get you in a tangle and it’s often neglected as it’s seen as low value, high volume data to work on, but you should think of it like this: it’s the little bit of shampoo you can never get out of the bottle, it doesn’t seem much on its own, but if you add all those little bits together over a year, you could have another bottle of shampoo.

Well, maybe not a whole one, but you know what I mean. It’s the spend that no one wants to deal with, it’s messy, fiddly, and can be complicated, plus it takes a lot of time to deal with.

But the end results could produce great cost savings, so why not let us take care of that for you.

How it Works

Step 1 – Normalisation

Before classification can start, the suppliers are normalised.  This is not a parent/child or financial relationship, this is simply normalisation of suppliers to a single identifiable normalised name that can then be used for reporting and analytics such as spend by supplier and suppliers per category.

It’s important to normalise your suppliers to get a true picture of how much you are spending with them, once this is completed you can view this on a global, regional or local level easily.

It makes classification more efficient and accurate as there’s less repetition of work and it helps the data keep its COAT on.

Additionally, it also helps with maintaining more accurately classified data to make better business decisions.

Step 2 – Classification

Once the suppliers have been normalised, we can start the classification process.

Data can be classified with an existing or customised taxonomy, and it can come from single or multiple file sources.  The preferred format to receive the file is Excel/CSV.   The level of detail in the classification will be dependent upon the amount of information in the invoice description, where possible this will be as detailed as possible unless requested otherwise.

For example, if the description is a keyboard it will be classified as a keyboard, not just IT equipment or accessories.  Unless you specify otherwise of course, we are here to provide you with the best data for your business and needs.

Data already classified?

You may already have your data classified, if it’s not been carried out using the correct taxonomy you won’t be able to analyse or report on the information you need, and if there have been multiple parties involved in the process, there will be less consistency and more chance of inaccurate and misleading data, leading to potentially bad business decisions.

We can review your data and flag any incorrect classifications and correct them if needed, helping you make better business decisions.

Check out my latest book release

Between The Spreadsheets: Classifying and Fixing Dirty Data

Get in Touch

For more information about how we work or any of our services, feel free to contact us using the form below.

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