Introduction to Data Cleaning
Data cleaning is essentially making data fit for purpose, maximising deliverability, reducing financial waste and ensuring moral compliance, as well as compliance and tracking to industry legislation. Healthy, accurate, well structured aggregated data will help improve your business performance and drive efficiency.
For example, we can correct address structure, track address movers and remove duplicates and create linkage across all silos of data. In addition to postal address cleaning we offer email address and Telephone validation, correction and appending. We deliver data cleaning solutions to a wide spectrum of clients, from those that have small bespoke databases, to those with large volume International transactional data.
Data facts and effects of poor data quality
In normal economic conditions business data decays by up to 35% every year and much more in exceptional years such as that we have experienced with a global pandemic. Over time, companies cease trading, move premises, change ownership, merge with other companies, and even change their core business industry. The cost implications of data decay can be significant for a business. As the majority of all companies are SME’s, this area will always experience the greatest changes at company level, however there are considerably more job role changes in larger companies.
More often than not companies believe their data is in better shape than it really is. The responsibility falls across IT/Marketing and other departments that collect and store data. This compounds the problem unless there is central responsibility and universal quality measures and access control. Many businesses are unaware of the negative impact bad data can have. From brand damage to budget being wasted on marketing campaigns that will bear no fruit.
Duplicates are commonly found on all databases that we are commissioned to upgrade. Often we find that a customer has been logged as a new customer several times as they may have purchased across different channels or changed their details slightly. This may only be an abbreviation of their company name but the effect is that the customer is not fully understood, and its true value is unappreciated. Creating a fully de-duplicated, single view database is crucial to company’s transactional /financial databases.
Quite often, data is inconsistent or poorly structured and contains inaccurate information or spurious characters within data fields. Communicating with customers using incorrect information can be particularly damaging to a brand . Why should the customer trust the quality of your product/service if you can’t even communicate with them effectively?
How do we clean your data ?
After initial consultation and Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDA) are signed, we simply receive your data via our secure file transfer facility.
We establish if the format is suitable for matching, in order for us to produce a data quality audit and diagnostic report. Using a suite of suppression tools your data is matched against a range of relevant databases.
We then report on the quality of your data, how we can improve it, plus a range of extra attributes that we may be able to append and the actual volumes, along with corresponding pricing based on the audit results.
What do you get back?
After agreeing to the menu of upgrades, corrections, suppression fields and attributes to append that meet your exact and agreed requirements, we then carry out the work as follows:
- We will return your original file with addresses either overwritten or new/changed addresses appended alongside your originals, whichever rule is agreed in advance.
- All suppressions are either flagged (a match flag would be appended) or the records deleted.
- Duplicate records are either flagged (a flag linking the master record to the duplicate(s) or deleted/ring fenced.
- Any additional enhancements will be added to end of each corresponding record in separate identified fields.
As a general rule of thumb we do not overwrite our clients’ original data but simply append changes/extra information alongside unless otherwise agreed in advance. This generally allows for further investigation to be conducted by the client prior to re-importing the cleaned data into their CRM systems.
We will return the data to you in the same format you supplied it to us so that it can be read back into your system.
We created a market-leading email validation service called E-Validate. Upload a sample of your data to our secure E-Validate site to receive a free, no commitment, quality rating of your data.
To help you identify email addresses which will harm your sender reputation and unnecessarily increase marketing costs, we can append the status and description of each address to your data. Using this, you can remove the undeliverable and improve your marketing ROI. Combine this service with our data enhancement solution and we will actively clean your database by either replacing incorrect information with the correct addresses or remove the data we cant replace. Go one step further by appending additional prospect contacts based on those within your current database to really expand your marketing potential.