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Data Quality Management for SMEs - Part Four

By Kiran Gill

November 29, 2011 | 2 min read

Last time I looked at the five main points to address to achieve higher levels of data quality. Data can sit in the database for months, years and even decades. It sometimes doesn’t see the light of day and has no associated value. The customer may have lapsed many years ago, but businesses still hold this data in a hope that it will someday be of some use. However, that day will probably never come, which begs the question – why keep it?

This is where the phenomenon of data hoarding comes in. Collecting masses of information may not cost much to the business by way of operational costs, but the real value of the real data can become lost within the overwhelming amounts of data the business has decided to keep.

Data continually gets pumped into the database and every so often the business may decide to send out a mailshot to its entire base, hoping that someone will respond. It’s quite obvious that the response rates and ROI will be very low. It is essential for businesses to recognise the value of the data. However good your point of capture processes are, data will degrade very fast.

Around 18,000 people move house every day. Thirty per cent of people change email address every year. Consumers specify Mailing and Telephone preferences, and the number of deceased contacts grows daily. All businesses must be proactive in the maintenance of their data to extend the data lifecycle, and to ensure that brand reputation is protected and money is saved.

The maintenance of data isn’t something that occurs only before you use it for marketing purposes. It encapsulates the processes before use of the data and after use of the data. Processes need to be in place where all changes and updates are fed back into the database to ensure accuracy and consistency.

Next time I will cover the seven simple steps that will help in the extension of data life and will also assist in helping data retain its worth.

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