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Experian Pandora’s Profiling Secret: Say Goodbye to Sampling


Jim Williams 5 minute read Data profiling, Data quality

Most free tools will only profile and analyse a sample of your data – but not ours. Profiling 25,000 records of 1 million will not identify all data issues, you need to profile all 1 million. 

When do you need data profiling?

You need to profile data at most stages of any data driven initiative, but particularly at the start before making the key business decisions that will influence the management and delivery of the initiative.

A recent Gartner report states that: “organizations place greater demands on vendors, expecting greater functional depth and business-area knowledge, we also find they underutilize key functionality, such as monitoring and issue resolution, in the tools purchased” – Gartner, State of Data Quality 2016

Data profiling is one such functional area. A corner of data quality that is often neglected, profiling is useful for many roles and in many situations and is used to inform your approach to your data initiatives. All data users will benefit, you might be a developer in IT, a business analyst or data steward. You may be about to perform a data migration, creating a single customer view of your data, or need to have a quick and easy route to link data together for ad-hoc analysis.

When using a data profiling tool like Experian Pandora, automatic profiling takes place during the data import step. You can enhance the standard profiling outputs with user-defined and business-specific rules – making the identification of any issues with your database as easy as a few clicks.

Other times profiling will be useful for your initiatives include:

  • Data warehousing
  • Business intelligence
  • Data migrations
  • Source system cleansing
  • Root cause analysis
  • When identifying source and target systems

Typically, to do these things would require detailed SQL knowledge. This is no longer the case thanks to technology empowering business users and taking the onus off the IT department.

Why profile your database?

The benefits of performing data profiling on your data are obvious and many:

  • De-risk the project schedule with knowledge about all the data, in scope, on time, in budget,
  • Set business driven priorities on what to fix/not fix. Do I fix before, during or after? Can it be automated?
  • Collect statistics about your data
  • Discover relationships between data sets
  • Discuss the impact of findings on business, project schedule etc…
  • Automated defect detection
  • Find anomalies, do they occur elsewhere? – use global search
  • Assign business and monitory value to your data issues

Much more, like in the case studies below – let us know what benefits you will expect to see in the comments section below.

Data profiling is of vital importance to your data migrations and overall data quality, as it will enable accurate decision making thanks to accurate data.

How do our customers profile their data?

Business: A charity organisation consisting of multiple leisure centres.

Challenge: Needed to create a single customer view of their customers.

Benefits: Were able to see immediate value by profiling their data to discover, for instance, adults and juniors living at the same address – something they may not be able to do with data cleansing alone.

By profiling their data with Experian Pandora, they could discover the relationships between the different classes and sports that they offer, and determine which customers were able to save money, and which might benefit from a full time membership, immediately providing a better customer service.

Despite being low on funding and resource, they were able to create data quality rules and measures based on their profiling efforts that saw a rapid return on investment.


Business: A premium alcoholic beverage provider.

Challenge: Their legacy data was over 20 years’ old and creating errors with stock and pricing.

Benefits: Chose Experian Pandora based on its reputation for data profiling – as recognised by Gartner, Forrester and Bloor.

Whilst they estimated it would take 30 weeks for them to clean and migrate their data, thanks to our profiling capabilities, it could be completed in 20 days.


Business: A large financial organisation.

Challenge: assured us they had strict data governance processes in place and that we would not find anything amiss when we profiled their database. The results were interesting to say the least.

Benefits: More interestingly, the client was impressed with the speed at which Experian Pandora could be deployed to perform this profiling task (hours, not days or weeks) and the speed at which results were returned – highlighting the outcome: their data governance program was sorely lacking.


Profile your entire database, not just a sample: up to 50 million records across 50 tables

Other tools won’t proactively discover and identify relationships between your data sets and databases. Experian Pandora can profile any data domain, not just contact data.

Profiling your data doesn’t have to cost you anything: we offer a free version of Experian Pandora.

With the free data profiler, you’ll get complete control over your analysis and mining. Whilst known as ‘the most powerful profiling tool on the market’ - it really is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to how Experian Pandora can help you with data profiling. Interested? Click the link above, installation takes a few minutes – you could be loading your files and analysing through our easy to use interface today.