Is your data up-to-date?

By: Resonata Consulting

Date: 19 October 2009

This week I wanted to talk about and touch upon data cleansing as, in a recession, it is perhaps even more important to keep your data up to date. After all, many of us are trying to cut costs wherever we can but we also know when to make the right investments in order to continue to speak to our current clients, and on the flipside of that acquire meaningful and deeply researched data that will enable you to be speaking to the right companies for the products and/or services that you deliver.

Over time, companies collect a significant amount of existing client and new client data. They can have entire databases of lapsed, current and potential client data but it is not necessarily all accurate and actionable data.

Data cleansing is something that should be done at least twice a year (business data often decays at the rate of up to 40% per year). If you want to make the most of your existing client data so you can keep running effective campaigns, it could be time to take a second look at your existing database.

Removing incorrect details can save you time and money when prospecting potential clients, speaking to existing clients or speaking to lapsed clients.

If client data is entered incorrectly, it can cause data headaches at a later date. If that same piece of data is entered differently more than once then the two opposing records can result in an inefficient process, confused and untrusting potential clients and confused sales staff.

If you store data such as physical addresses, phone numbers or email addresses you need to make sure that the rate of duplication kept to an absolute minimum – hence my recommendation to cleanse your data at least twice a year –more if it is in consistent use. Precise data is essential business incorrect data can very easily impede on your otherwise successful sales and marketing campaigns.

So is this the sort of exercise you would like to do in-house?

Some companies do this in-house and we have seen some businesses are very good at this, but it is hard to keep up motivation and salespeople often feel their time could be better spent making money for the company (and themselves!) than cleansing data.

Outsourcing the cleansing of your data is a much more efficient, easy and less costly exercise and you can get your be sales and marketing data in great shape without the headaches of doing it in-house.

Employ a professional organisation to give you a full data audit and you’ll be left with valid, de-duplicated data on prospects that are ready to be engaged. The data cleansing exercise will systematically go through your data and ensure that the records your teams use remain accurate. At the same time, you can unleash a two-pronged attack on your data, cleansing it one on hand and using that data to provide new sales and marketing leads for your staff to close on the other.

Matthew Baker, Resonata Data Consultancy

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