What is Data Cleansing?
Data Cleansing (or Data Scrubbing) is the action of identifying and then removing or amending any data within a database that is:
And under the GDPR:
This is usually done in a bulk process either regularly or as a one-off process using a technology with the relevant capabilities.
Why is Data Cleansing important?
Data inevitably decays over time - with personal data, for example, you will have births, marriages, deaths and changes of address continuously happen. Therefore the process of data cleansing helps organisations keep their data up to date and removes the risks that out of date data is prone to cause.
By ensuring their data is always as accurate as possible, organisations are better placed to:
- Maintain good customer relationships
- Improve organisation efficiency
- Drive useful data-driven insights
In addition to these, under the new General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR), Data Cleansing and proper Data Management in general, will become more essential. From May 2018, you will need to continually remove any data deemed unnecessary where elements such as Subject Access Requests and Data Breach notifications will require you to make contact with the data subjects in a limited timeframe – so accurate contact details are vital.
How can you run a Data Cleansing Project?
With Data Cleansing being important not just for business performance but also regulatory compliance, it is important to have a structured project to keep your data from decaying. The below are all important aspects to consider.
- Explore the current state of your data – helps to measure ROI and scope the size of the project.
- Understand the processes – learn how data flows in and out of your organisation.
- Know what needs to change - what problems exist and how they can be fixed.
- Learn the reach of the data – find out how far the changes you make could affect.
- Know your end goal and involve other departments – have a goal to measure success against, and make it an organisation-wide initiative.