​Data Quality – Keeping it Clean!

Thursday November 7, 2019 2:49pm by Tim Stevens

The annual ritual of writing Christmas cards is fast approaching, and you’ll no doubt be going through your real or digital address books to check your contact details are ‘clean’ and up-to-date. Who has got married, or changed partner, had children, or moved to a new house? Equally, you may well be wondering who you can get away without sending to, or who deserves to be struck off this year!

When organisations do a big mailout, they should be doing a similar process or a significant chunk of their marketing efforts could be wasted – businesses need to ‘keep it clean’, too.

What exactly is data cleansing and why does it matter?

For businesses clean data is as important as clean hands, clean teeth and clean windows. But do you pay the same attention to data cleanliness that you do elsewhere?

Data cleansing is basically just good data management to tackle all the inaccurate, wrong or wrongly formatted, irrelevant or duplicated information lurking in a database. It’s about updating, correcting and consolidating data to boost effectiveness, rather than zapping things completely. But it’s also about making sure you’re left with the highest-quality data.

The process typically targets a specific area, e.g. a particular spreadsheet. And it can take a fair old while if information has been building up over years, which is why it needs doing regularly rather than as a one-off.

Outdated or inaccurate data yields the wrong insights, making any marketing campaign based on it inefficient and wasteful.

‘Dirty’ data ultimately costs money, while information that’s regularly scrubbed until it sparkles will make the resulting insights significantly more accurate.

So it’s perhaps hardly surprising that one recent study (from Infogroup) found that 90% of organisations which gather information reckon data quality is one of their biggest headaches. And many are not making the most of their data.

But your data doesn’t have to be grubby – we can help.

How we keep it clean

At i-4business, we know all information needs spot-on, watertight accuracy. We use UK-based, in-house researchers to ensure data is cleansed regularly. Every member of our team is UK-based, but they’re native speakers checking marketing data from their countries of origin in their own language. We’re sticklers for only supplying information we’ve researched ourselves in-house.

And we don’t pass on or resell anyone else’s data as we can’t be sure it has the depth or quality we insist on.

What’s more, as part of our initial free data audit, we offer to clean up clients’ data, too. To book your free trial, please get in touch with one of the i-4business team today.