How to Cleanse Your Data and Prevent Data Decay

Data is key to any business. It drives how we develop our products and services, the staff we employ, the customers we attract and the way that we treat them.

Now especially, data has the power to either drive the success or failure of your business.  The opportunities are huge – data can help you to make your services more convenient, more tailored and more valuable than ever before. It can help you target your ideal customers and make more sales, IF you manage your data well.

Managed badly, data brings risk.  The enormous amount of it being processed now means that it decays much faster.  As a business owner, it is your responsibility to ensure that your data is up to date and correct or you risk targeting the wrong people with your marketing, or even non-compliance and reputational damage if you’re contacting people you shouldn’t be.

Last year, one firm was fined £80,000 by the ICO for making marketing calls to people registered with the Telephone Preference Service1.  They were sold their data by a third party but it was still their responsibility to ensure it was clean and up to date.

Cleansing Your Data

So, how can you make sure that your data is accurate and safe to use? You need to ensure that you are regularly cleansing your customer database.  Here are some key steps to consider in order to keep your data clean and relevant.

Conduct a Data Audit

In order to make sure your data is correct, you need to be aware of all the data that you actually control and on what systems it sits.

Consolidate Your Data

One of the key goals of data cleansing is to create a ‘single customer view’. To achieve this, you shouldn’t just be looking to remove out of date or incorrect data from your systems but to find opportunities to consolidate the data you have.

Record and Analyse Issues

Ensure any data errors are recorded, analysed and corrected.  Do you know what caused the error and whether something can be changed in your processes to stop it happening again?

Seek support

Data cleansing can be a time-consuming and costly process but there are services, like Experian’s B2B Prospector which include data cleansing and enhancing services.  Rather than trying to deal with what is often a complex and stressful process, why not seek the support of experts?

Ongoing Review

Due to the fast rate of data decay, your data cleansing needs to be an ongoing and regular process.  Build regular data audits into your data strategy to ensure that your data is serving your business rather than pulling it back.

Don’t forget – your data is one of your business’ most powerful tools. It allows you to target your ideal customers with optimal accuracy and to stay ahead of your competitors. Don’t let it decay!

If you have any doubt over the accuracy of your existing data, speak to a member of the B2B Prospector team at Experian for Small Business about FREE data audit services.

Source: 1. ICO

 

 

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Posted on by Katie Hague

Estimated read time: 4 mins