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HOW TO: Ensure data quality

One hundred per cent data quality is a myth. And it is this very realisation that is the starting point you need to actually achieve better data quality. The second realisation is that without commitment data quality is almost a lost cause. The third realisation is that you need to get on and use all the tools you have available to improve your levels of data quality and keep on using them.

Marketing campaigns to both existing customers and prospects are only ever as good as the data on which they are based and the data on which they use. For example, if your data is out-of-date, your direct communications will be incorrectly addressed and sent to the wrong person within an organisation. This not only wastes you time and money, it also has the potential to damage your business reputation. What would you think if you've been in a role for over a year and still getting direct mail addressed to the person you replaced?
With business data changing at a rapid rate and with rates of business data decay at more than 35 per cent, keeping your data clean and up-to-date can be difficult.  However, if you can keep these rates of decay at a minimum you'll be rewarded with more targeted campaigns, cost savings and a better return on investment.

The key to improving data quality is to understand first of all that your data is never going to be as good as you think it is. There is no such thing as 100 per cent accurate data. Once you see the truth about data you can see the weaknesses and understand what steps you need to take to improve your levels of data quality.