Undergraduate Blog / Defining Your Babson

How to Do Data Research Fast and Accurately

PrivCo is known as the “Bloomberg for private companies”. Different from its competitors, PrivCo creates a high-quality, frequently-updated database of private companies in the United States.

As the financial research and data analyst intern, I have been working on data collection and cleaning for the first two weeks of my internship. Given the fact that PrivCo needs millions of private companies, there is no much time that could be designated to each company. In a batch of 500 companies given, I am supposed to complete it in two or three days. It means that I need to complete between 150 and 200 companies in one day. In other words, I cannot spend more than two minutes researching on one company. In the beginning, I could only complete 80 companies but as time passed I began to complete more and more. Very often I could not find the information but I knew that the information is somewhere. Though frustrated, I needed to move on to next. Several days later, I began to realize that I needed to accept this fact since private companies usually do not disclose too much information, especially for small-scale businesses.

Though researching is tiring and needs lots of efforts, I felt that I learned a lot. In order to perform data-related tasks that are built on those data, the first step is very important and easily influence results later. Researching also requires active thinking and innovation as well. For example, sometimes I found useful information from the local news website. Last is the importance of periodic summarization. Considering a large amount of research that needs to be conducted each day, summarizing and forming my own researching methods help improve my researching quality and efficiency.