Data integrity can lead to improvements across the business

Although accurately capturing data first time is important, it must be cleaned and maintained to retain its value. Preserving the integrity of data can help organisations to keep customers, enhance database analysis and vastly improve business efficiency.

Data should be cleaned on a regular basis, allowing invalid or false information to be weeded out, and it should be suppressed as contact information changes. Every day in the UK, 1,600 people die, 18,000 move and 1,800 register with the Mailing Preference Service (MPS), which means information can become inaccurate overnight.

Some data, such as email addresses and mobile phone numbers, can decay rapidly, meaning an organisation may lose its competitive advantage as decisions are made using inaccurate and unreliable information.

Dirty and degraded data can also make it hard for businesses to maintain a single customer view and preserve good relationships with consumers. It can even lead to an increased risk of fraud through mailing to goneaways and the deceased.

Preserving the integrity of data means that the quality and durability of the contact information stored by an organisation can be greatly improved.

Cleaning, maintaining and suppressing data can have an effect on a business’ bottom line, as 19 per cent of revenue is wasted as a result of poor quality information. By simply removing duplicate records and updating those that are out of date, money can be saved as an organisation will no longer attempt to make contact with customers that cannot respond.

It can also lead to improved decision making, as organisations can refer to a single overview of existing and prospective customers, allowing them to reach intelligent business conclusions.

This single overview can also lead to positive brand perception, as complaints regarding duplicate mailings and inaccurate information can be circumvented. In addition, ongoing data suppression can prevent a business from trying to reach out to people who have passed away – something that can be incredibly upsetting for family members of the deceased.

Effective data management can have a positive impact on the environment, as an organisation can avoid sending multiple and unnecessary mailings, ultimately helping a business to reduce its carbon footprint.