Cleansing plays a significant role in the health of many things. We cleanse our skin, cleanse through diet, cleanse our homes, all with the intention to make our bodies and surroundings work more efficiently. So why not cleanse our data?
Data cleansing is a way to maximise the accuracy of data in a system. It’s different to data purging, which usually focuses on clearing space for new data, concentrating instead on ridding syntax errors, typographical errors or fragments of records.
Data cleansing can involve deleting old, incomplete or duplicated data, but the primary focus is to clean and consolidate sharing information to ensure the effectiveness of a system. It’s the act of detecting and correcting corrupt or inaccurate records from a record set, table or database. Once the “dirt” is identified, it can then concentrate on replacing, modifying or deleting the information.
Cleansing can occur within a single set of records, or between multiple sets of data which need to be merged, or which will work together. Typos and spelling errors are corrected, mislabeled data is properly labeled and filed, and incomplete or missing entries are completed. An organisation in a data-intensive field like banking, insurance, retailing, telecommunications, or transportation might use complex data cleansing tools to systematically examine data for flaws by using rules, algorithms and look-up tables.
The goal of data cleansing is not just to clean up the data in a database but also to bring consistency to different sets of data that have been merged from separate databases.
How businesses can benefit from data cleansing software
Customer data is the core of your organisation. It allows you to engage with customers and prospects to deliver exactly what they need. Customer information is constantly changing and growing, so it’s crucial your company data is accurate.
A problem that many companies face occurs when linking duplicated data. In a perfect world, your business data would always be spot on. Every name, every number, every address would be 100% reliable, so that you can get the most out of your marketing efforts. Unfortunately, the reality of accurate information is somewhat lacking, regardless of your niche. Even more unfortunate is that inaccurate data costs you money.
By cleansing your data, you will see many benefits.
Improved data quality
By cleaning your data, the problem of incorrect, tainted data is effectively removed. Thanks to the fact you are able to create more efficient prospect lists, your customer acquisition efforts can be dramatically boosted. You can also manage multi-channel customer data, which gives you the opportunity to make all future marketing efforts more successful.
Data cleansing allows you to improve the quality of your data, which in turn leads to smarter decisions within your business. And by increasing the accuracy and consistency of your data, you can improve your response rates and increase revenue.
With accurate information, you can quickly and conveniently reach customers directly, notifying them of time sensitive promotions or information fast.
By having a database that has been cleaned and properly maintained, you can ensure employees are making the most of their work hours. With updated information, staff can maximise their productivity and efficiency by quickly and conveniently finding and working with clean records. This will also save on costs associated with undeliverable, returned or delayed mailings.
Improved customer perception
The correct spelling of customers names and addresses could help improve customer perception of your brand. Having your name misspelled is an instant turnoff! Spelling someone’s name wrong, getting their title incorrect or failing to update their new address suggests to a customer that they’re not valued, destroying your effort to reach out to them.
Improved account management and analysis
Having a clean database gives you the power to more effectively analyse and manage your company’s spending. Clean records clearly display where funds are going and if there are any ways to cut costs.
Better customer relationships
Data cleansing can ensure you’re targeting the right offer to the right people. Irrelevant offers often get tossed away, wasting your time and money. Targeting your information to suit a specific audience could increase your ROI.
One of the consequences of uncleansed data is that a customer’s data could be entered into the database several times. What then happens is the customer is “spammed” with a repeated message that might put them off your company completely.
If your manufacturing is driven by demand, and your data is showing the wrong numbers, you could end up over-manufacturing or under-manufacturing. You could also end up overstocking some retailers while understocking others, which can upset both customers and your sellers.
The bottom line is that bad data can affect many facets of a business. This does depend on how much your company relies on its data and how you organise and manage it, but even if data isn’t a major priority, any data you do have should be accurate. It’s the only way you can use it effectively.