What is Data Manipulation?
Data Manipulation is the process in which the developer organizes the data making it more understandable by properly arranging it in the proper structure. For example, you have gathered the names of all the students then the data manipulation is performed by arranging the data in alphabetical order. After performing data manipulation, it is comparatively easier to retrieve information from the student's data. Thus, it is essential to perform data manipulation to make it easier to find the entry for a particular student and access the data.
It also enables the website owner to monitor the traffic on the website. The user can also know which content brings the most traffic to the website, particularly which one page is more popular.
Data manipulation is necessary for every field that deals with gaining insights from the data. It is also used by accountants or people associated with similar fields to compute the product costs and determine and predict future prices and taxes based on the previous patterns. The stock market analyzer also practices it. They use this method to forecast the performance of various stocks and compute their prices in the near future. The computer can also use it to represent the information to the user in such a manner that it is closest to reality or to perform data formatting on the computer.
The user can perform data manipulation using the DML commands. DML stands for Data Manipulation Language. It is a programming language that can alter the data and perform operations such as insertion, deletion, or altering the data inside the database. It is a language that enables the user to perform modifications on the data. The user can use these commands to perform changes in it easily.
Objective of Performing Data Manipulation
This is the age of information, but having information alone is not sufficient; it needs manipulation. Data Manipulation is the process that can be applied to the data to make it simple retrieval. It is essential for performing business and optimizing the whole process. The user is required to study the data that enables the user to manipulate the data and produce meaningful insights like understanding the latest trends.
It can be used to understand consumer behavior. It is an effective method to utilize the information to produce optimum results.
Data Manipulation has many advantages. Some of the major advantages of performing it are as follows:
- Consistent Data: DML commands can be used to organize the data; they can be arranged structurally. If the data is not structured properly, the data will be difficult to relate with something. It will be difficult for the reader to connect the information. It is a major problem when the user is trying to provide information about many factors simultaneously. If the information is gathered from various sources, there may be no singularity in the data. The consistent data is well organized.
- Project Data: This feature of data manipulation is particularly used in finance-related fields. It provides in-depth knowledge about the data. It allows the user to study the historical trends, and that data can be used to forecast the trends of the near future.
- Delete Redundant Data: Once the data is organized, it is easier to find the redundant data. The user arranges the data in a definite structure and all the related information. Also, it helps to maintain the data, and the user can easily identify the extra information that is not required.
- Performing Operations on the Database: Various operations can be performed on the data using DML commands. The user can insert a new entry, delete a previous one, or can also update or convert the existing values of the data. The data can be used to optimize the business plan and benefit the business in multiple ways, such as increasing productivity, reducing the cost, or helping in attracting more customers to the business.
Steps Performed During Data Manipulation
The steps that are required to perform data manipulation are:
- The foremost step is to create a database to store all the data you have gathered from numerous sources. It is necessary to ensure all the data is stored in a single file.
- The data that is stored in the database is required to be organized properly into fields, and once the structuring of the data is complete. The next step is cleaning the stored data by entering the value for all the missing data.
- The next step involves creating the database that includes defining fields and attributes for the database and assigning the values to these attributes and fields. Once you have created the database, you are all set to import the database. When you imported, the user can begin working on the data stored in the database.
- When all the above steps are performed successfully, you can perform the data manipulation, including CRUD operations on the database. The user can edit, delete and even merge the information stored in the database. It is also possible to insert new values into the data.
- Once the data is manipulated, it is comparatively easier for the user to draw hidden insights from the information. It is easy to analyze the data present in the database.
Why manipulates the data?
Data Manipulation requires extra effort and time, so why does the developer spend too much time performing all these steps even if they are unnecessary. Let us discuss the importance of manipulating the data.
It is necessary to manipulate data as it provides important information that can help grow and provide new business opportunities. When collected it from various sources, the data is usually raw; it is quite essential to arrange the data in a structural format for easy understanding.
It also improves the performance of the business. The productivity can be increased, and the process can be made efficient by analyzing the data and using it to predict the trend, reducing the wastage and cutting the cost during the production.
Below, some real-life scenarios explaining the requirement of data manipulation.
Format Consistency: When the data is collected from different sources, there is inconsistency in the information or the values of fields. The data collected from the surveys can be numerical, alphabetical, or in other formats. The user can implement DML commands on the database to overcome these inconsistencies. The data can be organized into structures. Once the data becomes consistent, it will become easy to compare and modify. The data becomes more transparent after performing the manipulation.
Historical Overview: It can be used for decision-making as it improves the quality of the decision. Performing the manipulation of the data from the previous projects can help to implement the knowledge from the data to judge the team size and have a rough understanding of the budget and time required to complete the project.
Efficiency: The time the analyst uses to manipulate the data significantly reduces the time to draw the insights from the data. This will increase the efficiency of organizing the data. There is always the possibility that the same data have occurred multiple times, and reading or storing such data will affect the efficiency as it will require more space and time. The user can find the redundant information and even judge whether the information present is relevant or not. By performing manipulation, the user can isolate the relevant and irrelevant data.
Nowadays, all the business models are performing well by using data manipulation, a simple example would be when you search for a particular product on an e-commerce website, and when you visit any of your social media, you will receive advertisements about similar products. There might be instances when you receive calls from marketers of such products. This is all possible because of the data manipulations.
Tips while Performing Data Manipulation
Several tools can be used to perform data manipulation. The user can use database management software when dealing with very high data, but when the data is not very large. The user can use MS Excel to perform manipulation as it is not only easy to use but can also be used without requiring knowledge of any programming language.
- Formulas and Functions: One of the most important benefits of using MS Excel is that users can use predefined functions to perform certain operations. It provides mathematical functions. The user can easily compute the sum, difference, product, or even perform division on the values in the cell using these functions.
- Autofill: This feature comes in handy and increases the productivity of the task associated with entering the data in the fields. It can be used by the user when the information that is to be entered in the field is associated with a specific equation or follow the same pattern.
- The user can set an equation for determining the value of the entire field. If the user does not want to apply the autofill using the function, then the user can simply drag the left-right corner to the cell you want to fill the entries. This increases the user's efficiency and makes it simple to perform the manipulation.
- Sort and Filter: This is another useful function provided by MS Excel for studying the data. The data is vast and vivid. It is always not necessary that the user want to study the entire data. When the user wants to achieve a specific goal, it is only better to study the data that helps achieve the data. The process of analyzing data can be simplified by filtering. It isolates specific data from the entire data, making it more easily readable. By sorting, the user can arrange the data in a sequence, making it easier to compare with other values in a field.
- Removing Duplicates: Usually, the data is collected from multiple sources. The problem with assembling the data from all these sources into a single source is a high chance of redundancy in the data. The same set of data can frequently occur times. MS Excel allows the user to delete the duplicate data using Delete Duplicate. The user can easily remove the redundant spreadsheet from the database.
- Combining Column: In MS Excel, the data is arranged into rows and columns. The information may require more than one cell. In MS-Excel, the data can be organized properly by merging the rows and columns. It allows the user to split and merge both columns and rows. It ensures that the complete application is visible to the user when accessing the data.
Data Manipulation and Data Modification
There are many instances when people confuse and use both terms interchangeably. These two terms are quite different.
So, let us discuss how data manipulation differs from data modification.
Data Manipulation is associated with the arrangement of the data. It is the process of organizing the data into a structure. This makes it easier to understand, read and perform analysis of the data. The aim is to refine the data.
In comparison, data modification is associated with the data values. It involves making changes in the existing data. The change can be either in a value, field or even the complete data. Its aim is to alter the data.
Consider an example to get a clear idea of these terms. The price of a good is Rs.40, and the tax is Rs.10. On manipulating the data, the total cost can be computed for good is Rs.50. Suppose the tax is increased from Rs.10 to Rs.15. on performing the data modification, the new tax will be Rs.15, and the total cost will be changed to Rs.55.