Data Appending 101

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Data protection is constantly changing and is increasingly becoming a topic of discussion for both consumers and lawmakers. With the rise of modern technology, it has become somewhat normal for corporations and businesses to harvest data to personalise their marketing approaches. They do this through a process known as data appending. If you’re unsure what that is, read on, as we explain everything you need to know about this process.

What is data appending?

The term ‘data appending’ is used to describe the process of piecing together data. A company will collect data from a customer and pair it with data that has already been collected and stored on a master database.

Why do companies use data appending?

A large chunk of marketing comes down to knowing your customers. The more you know about them, the more you can personalise your marketing approach, generate leads and hopefully turn conversions. Data appending helps with this. Companies collect data on their customers and add it to data that has already been collected and stored on a master database. This means they can build up a complete profile and engage in more refined marketing campaigns that work for both the customer and the company at hand.

What data can be appended?

Data comes in all shapes, sizes and types, and almost all of it can be appended or collected by companies. Things like email addresses, phone numbers, addresses and age are all commonly collected. Increasingly, so is marital status and details about homeownership and children.

Everything from car ownership through to social media profiles and job titles can be appended. App usage, adverts you interact with, and websites you frequently look at can also all be appended.

The Different Types of Data Appending

There are two main types of data appending: forward and reverse. Forward appending is the most commonly used type. It refers to when companies start with a name and an address and are then able to source more information from a master database, such as a phone number, whether the person owns a vehicle and if they own the property they live in.

Reverse appending is slightly different in that a company will typically only have one piece of information to begin with, usually a phone number. When they enter a phone number into the master database, they can see all data associated with it, such as an address, an email address and even a place of work. Reverse appending is commonly used by call centres that have interacted with a customer on the phone but failed to get any further information.

How long does data appending take?

If a company wants to access data on the spot in real-time, they can do so using real-time appending. This is ideal for many different causes, but where more complex data is required, manual batch appending that is entered manually by a person is ideal


Appending can be highly technical depending on the route taken, but the route is always the same. Companies must now make sure they’re complying with the law when collecting data, but when done properly, data appending can be highly effective for all parties involved – both for solving a problem for a consumer and for generating leads for a company.


Talk to us at IT Focus today, and get your data up to date.

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Our goal is to develop a thorough understanding of the technology that underpins the message you want us to deliver. By doing this, we can communicate your value proposition in a clear and concise manner to the people that are important to you: your future customers.

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