Business experts

Expert opinion: Data cleansing, and why it’s important

Written by Claire Brewerton on .

Claire Brewerton

 

Have you really considered how important data is to your business? If you do, do you ensure that your data is current and working hard for you?

With an ever-changing business community especially right now, it’s important to ensure your data is up to date, and you know the best person to contact in any business you are working with. Contacting a customer or supplier and asking for someone who is no longer there, can make you look incompetent.

Did you know around 60 percent of companies rate the overall health of their data as unreliable and research has also found the average data base is 25 percent inaccurate at any given time.

Bad data doesn’t only cost you money, it can also dent your reputation. The wrong contact details can disrupt a positive customer’s experience. Targeting the wrong prospects can be damaging, when they are contacted with irrelevant messaging.

My top tips for data cleansing are:

  1. Data cleansing begins at point of entry. Ensuring data is entered correctly saves expense later. This includes checking the spelling of individuals’ names, business names, accurate addresses and contact details.
  2. Add the cost of data cleansing to your yearly marketing budget to get rid of dirty data.
  3. Concentrate on data that has not been contacted recently, or has not responded.
  4. Emails can be checked to see if they are still ‘active’. This gives you good information to know which data may need attention.
  5. Check on new job titles, or moves to new companies, by viewing LinkedIn profiles.
  6. In addition to it being a legal requirement, checking your B2B data against the CTPS (Corporate Telephone Preference Service) register makes good data cleansing sense.

Data cleansing is time-consuming and expensive to handle in-house and will take hours, especially if you’ve fallen behind for several years. Good housekeeping around it will generate more sales through better customer service.

Claire Brewerton, co-founder of the Virtual Business Centre offering telephone answering, data management and cleansing, telemarketing and tele texting services. For more information visit www.virtualbusinesscentre.com