Business today, apart from looking after their clients are also required to look after their business assets. Ensuring offices are well maintained, appropriate investment is done for staff and overall development, equipments are maintained as per standards and software are of the latest version offering enhanced business benefits.
So if all these are been taken care of without any lapse; whats wrong doing it with your data? Datasets or your business data is, and should be treated as a business asset. If you look after your data it will ultimately look after you by providing effective business outcomes and profitability.
Do you look after your data?
Its a different challenge, we all know but do not accept it due to our own reasons; that clear data performs better. Duplication is wasteful and severely affects brand perception, and take advantage of suppression files. Cleansing your data will avoid wasted marketing budgets. But for taking advantage of all these; the stepping stone is data cleansing. So we are again back to square one.
Some questions for enlightenment:
- Does your business receive a lot of bounce-backs, no reply on phone calls, or returned mailers and emails?
- Do you regularly audit and cleanse your data, if yes; when did you last cleanse your database?
- Have you seen improved results following a previous cleanse?
- Do you regularly check your data against suppression files?
- Are you interested in finding how much money you can save by cleansing your business data?
Why should you look after your data?
Duplicate or inaccurate entries, incomplete entries etc.; are amongst the few which surface every time, data challenges are discussed. Corrupt data makes your organizational efforts ineffective, and potentially detrimental. It is really unfortunate that today in this age of digitization, there are businesses armed with corrupt data. They are all set to the road to fail miserably.
A survey suggests:
- 50% organizations confessed of underutilize their data.
- 10% of all agreed that they use data that they have in systematic manner.
- 71% of organizations were planning to bring in Big Data Analytics solution very soon.
- 18% of the organizations surveyed were equipped with a single and integrated view of customer actions.
- 75% of businesses tried calculating the ROI of their marketing activities but failed miserably due to lack of system integration.
- 42% have integrating cross channel customer experience as their top priority.
All these positives and negatives, once and for all, as mentioned in the beginning; prove that there is awareness about authenticity of data – but is not acknowledged and implemented due to various reasons.
Factors that infect your data & make data cleansing a mandate
Research suggests that data duplication & data inaccuracies/incompleteness are the two main factors that infect business data. Lets see how.
1. Duplicate data
Amanda Smith a CFO, has been hunting for accounting software and fortunately has visited your landing pages numerous times, and has downloaded more or less all of your reports, eBooks, whitepapers, used cases etc. there have been instances when she entered her maiden name, but enters her husbands name at times whenever she remembers, as she just got married. Some of her entries do have her home email, some have phone email address, work email a couple of times etc.
So now if you see, Amanda Smith in your systems exists for a total of more than once. This also means that you have more than one contact in the name of her firm, whereas the fact is that it is only one. Also your system thinks there is more than one CFO who is interested in your product. And the last jab to tarnish your brand name is that your company sends across more than one and different offers/announcements about the special quotes, which certainly will irritate her. Of that outrage she bought the software from your competitor a few blocks away, with a bad publicity that your firm was spamming her. And all this due to data duplication or dirty data as you may say.
2. Incomplete/inaccurate data
The second culprit is inaccuracy and incompleteness of your business data. Customers like Amanda are not the only types. There are others as well who enter info into your landing pages, sign up for promotions, fill out cards at exhibition booths etc. They, most of the times, do not give detailed information that you ask for. Some of them lie as a part of avoiding sales calls and promotional material. Some make unintentional silly mistake of writing “Jhon” instead of “John” in a hurry, or forget to add the ZIP code to the information that they furnish.
This is an indication that your efforts to reach out to these people will never materialize. Some of your efforts might succeed but in getting you to the wrong place or wrong person. A lot of your potential clients might think that you are spamming them. Continuing this activity will result in waste of your time, efforts and of course a lot of dollars.
Clean and accurate data is equivalent to improved efficiency
Data is one of the most valued assets that your business possesses. Keeping it up to date and fresh is vital for the success of your business. It moves fast and increased faster than that; yes, the data landscape experiences dramatic changes every minute-every day. Keeping a tab on your data is most likely a time consuming and expensive affair. Joining hands with a data partner with data cleansing as their core activity and expertise; proves fruitful for you, your data and ultimately your business.