Many businesses are not aware of the importance of database cleansing. Cluttered and chaotic databases are a lot harder to see, but it is just as important to keep them clean as it is to organize the office space. The truth is that there are many disadvantages to not cleaning your company’s database and most companies are not even aware of the problems that it could cause.
A database that has not been cleansed in a long time is bound to have a lot of errors and out of date information. There will be spelling mistakes, wrong addresses, incorrect phone numbers and a lot of other worthless and inaccurate information. This abundance of inaccurate information will take up valuable hardware space, which will also slow down your marketing or mailing efforts. If the information in your database is not current and correct, it will be costing the business a lot of money in wasted letters, emails and phone calls.
Also, often databases that have not been cleansed will have duplicate entries, which means that a customer could be getting emailed or telephoned twice for the same offer, which can be very annoying.
What is Data Cleansing?
Data cleansing, also known as data scrubbing, is the process of correcting or removing any inaccurate or out of date records from your database. A data cleansing service will be able to analyze your database for any irrelevant, inaccurate, incorrect and incomplete data and then delete, modify, replace or repair this data.
After a set of data has been cleansed, it will be completely accurate and up to date so that it can be used as efficiently as possible.
Why Do Errors in Databases Occur?
No database is absolutely perfect and the larger the database is, the more it is likely to have a significant amount of errors. Where do these errors come from and why do they occur?
Most of the time, these inconsistencies are caused by user entry errors or by corruption in storage or transmission. It can also be a problem with similar entities being defined differently over a range of locations or stores.
How Does Data Cleansing Work?
Sometimes data cleansing process involves removing any errors by cross checking the data against a validated data set or a known list of entities. For example, if the data cleansing software spots an address within the system that does not have a valid postal code, this address will be deleted or flagged.
Data cleansing can also involve harmonization of data and standardization of data. For example, the software can change all instances of “St.” to the word “Street” instead. This means that all the data will be in the same standard format, making it much easier to use and search.
Benefits of Data Cleansing
Data cleansing can offer a lot of advantages for a company, such as:
- Cost Savings: The company will not waste money on storing old and inaccurate data.
- Improved accuracy: This will mean much greater return on investment for marketing activities.
- Good impressions: Storing old information can actually have negative effects on a brand image and sending marketing information to customers who have opted out or who have deceased is not a good way to make an impression.
- Also, improving the data will result in more customer insight, which can help to inform a marketing campaign.
These are just a few of the benefits that data cleansing can bring to a business.
Ian Appleton is a blogger and business owner. He recently hired Data8, a database cleansing service to help him with his old and outdated database of customer contact info.