What is Data Cleansing?
Data Cleansing is an essential part of your data management strategy. Achieving and maintaining accurate and reliable customer data in your database and having the tools, processes and procedures in place to maintain the data is fundamental for business success. Clean data can save your organisation time and money, boost employee trust in your business systems, and improve your customers’ experience.
So, what is data cleansing? Data cleansing is the action of identifying and then removing or amending any data or customer records within a database that is:
- Inaccurate or invalid
- Poorly formatted
And under the GDPR:
This is usually done in a bulk process for existing customer records, either regularly using a technology with the relevant capabilities or as a one-off or regular process by commissioning a third-party service to cleanse the data on your behalf.
How does Data Cleansing work?
- Profile – Assess the data first to gain a clear picture of the current state of affairs, including data accuracy, completeness, uniqueness and reliability.
- Cleanse – Check the validity of the data against official sources such as postal files or telecommunication providers. Complete missing elements within contact records, correct formatting issues, standardise and de-duplicate records for a single customer view.
- Suppress – Suppress out of date customer records by referencing official data sources. This identifies and removes contacts that have moved, passed away or subscribed to a marketing preference service.
- Enrich – Enhance your customer data and records by appending additional attributes from your own or third-party data sources for a single, complete customer profile.
Here is your guide to effective Data Cleansing—one step at a time.
1. Profile your data to understand your data quality
The first step in any project is to create a plan. When working to cleanse your data, you need to first understand the current state of your database. Consider having a Data Quality Healthcheck to profile your data and determine the accuracy, completeness and uniqueness of your records. If you’re curious about the kinds of data errors or anomalies that could be lurking under the surface, a data quality healthcheck is the best place to start. You will have a clear view of any errors that need to be addressed.
It’s important to think about, from where do you capture and store data in your organisation? How do you use your data and which teams rely on the data? And, what data processes and tools could be easily adopted by your organisation to ensure data is kept clean? Now, you can determine next steps.
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2. Understand your business requirements
Data quality tools are essential to achieve and maintain a healthy database. The technology your organisation chooses to automate data quality management is dependent on several factors, including the issues you’re experiencing with your data that need to be addressed, the data skills you have in-house, how data is used and accessed across your organisation, financial budget and your current technical infrastructure to name a few.
If you are looking to establish ongoing data quality checks, you can integrate data quality solutions into your existing technology stack and there are several options available.
- Our real-time Address Validation, Email Validation and Phone Validation solutions can be seamlessly integrated into web forms or checkout carts to ensure data validity before the data enters your database.
- Our bulk address cleansing solutions can be seamlessly integrated into almost any database, allowing you to cleanse your existing customer records on-demand and in the format that suits you.
- Our Data Cleansing service can be used to cleanse all of your record.
Whether you choose to outsource your data cleansing or implement data maintenance processes and tools in-house, you gain greater control of your data and insight into its health which you can be leveraged to address wider business issues.
3. Maintain your data quality
Once you understand the quality of your data today, recognise the areas to be addressed and have selected a suitable solution, now it’s essential good data quality is sustained over-time.
When it comes to maintaining quality data, there are perks to having a data quality management platform in-house. You constantly have control over the quality of data and can be agile when new initiatives emerge. However, it is possible to outsource your data cleansing and still uphold quality—you just need to make sure you have a regular cadence to cleanse your records with a third-party provider.
Taking steps to clean your data is crucial to enabling your business with trusted data. Data captured, maintained and leveraged in the right way can help you make better decisions that set your organisation on a path to success.
Make sure you can fully leverage your database with trustworthy records.