What is Data Cleansing ?
Data Cleansing is the process of finding & then fixing any issues with your contact data.
It is the most important element within data management for improving data quality.
Firstly, it identifies inaccurate, incomplete, duplicate or out-of-date personal information. Next, the data is either corrected, completed, consolidated or updated. Then it's converted into it's best form to appear similar across all contact records and fields.
Why Is Data Cleansing So Important?
Your data is one of the your most valuable business assets. It drives many of your critical business decisions. So, the better the quality of your data, the better those decisions will be.
High quality data will improve your management & financial reporting. Your Sales & Marketing, including Direct Mailing, can be more effective. You can assess business risk more accurately. Customer service will be more efficient. As a result, it can help you lower operational costs & increase your profits.
But you can only unlock all those benefits if your data is accurate, meaningful & up-to-date. I can ensure data cleansing does just that for you, making your data `fit for purpose' so your contact database becomes a valuable business tool.
What Causes Poor Quality Data ?
- The personal information you accumulate about your contacts gets out of date. Over time, people move home, change their name (ie get married) or they pass away.
- Operator Input Error. Spelling mistakes, incomplete information and duplicate contact records can easily be introduced, especially if data isn't validated on input.
- Website registration forms & similar applications don't fully integrate with your database. This can cause the import of typo's, formatting problems & duplicates.
- Two or more data sets have previously been merged. Different layouts & formats can result in inconsistencies & errors in the personal data that is then stored.
How Often Should You Cleanse Your Data ?
Larger businesses can accumulate personal information quickly so may want to clean their data twice yearly.
Smaller business will collect data more slowly so cleansing less frequently may be more suitable.
All businesses should cleanse their data if they are undertaking a data migration project.
How Accurate is Your Contact Data ?
The good news is that it's quick & easy to find out how accurate your contact database information is. All I need is a copy of your database then I'll run a Free Cleansing Data Audit to assess it's quality. If anything needs fixings, you'll be provided with a quote and a schedule. No obligations.
Data Cleanse Processing Cycle
The exact methodology will differ with each project, dependent upon the characteristics of your contact data. Typically, it would involve the following key processes:
Data Analysis - Analysis & profiling to understand the data and devise the optimal cleaning solution
Postal Address Correction - Complete, correct & standardise postal addresses to match the Royal Mail PAF format
Remove Irrelevant Data - Filter out redundant & irrelevant data, spurious character strings, carriage returns etc
Deceased Contacts - Add a suppression flag to those identified as having passed away
Home Movers - Update to the new postal address for those who have moved where the forwarding address is known
Gone-Aways - Identify then add a suppression flag those who have moved with no known forwarding address
Deduplication - Identify then remove duplicate contacts. Or merge together to create a single customer view
Normalization - Organise contact data to appear consistent across all records and fields (eg name, address, tel no)
Appearance - Ensure data is properly cased. Generate salutations & valedictions if required
Validation - Final verification to authenticate the data. Confirm it’s quality, consistency, structure & format
Export - output the cleaned data in the format required for downstream processing against the contact database
Benefits from Data Cleansing
- Better Productivity - With high quality data you'll work more efficiently & with less stress, making better use of your working hours
- Improved Decision Making - Analytics and management reporting will be more accurate allowing you to make better business decisions
- Immediate Return on investment - Data cleansing pays for itself quickly. You'll start to reap the financial saving straight away
- More Profitable Marketing - Accurate data allows you to target the ideal customer with more precision on every promotion, boosting profit
- Save Money - Stops you wasting money trying to contact people who have passed on or who have moved away with no forwarding address