Data cleansing is a task that companies of all sizes are guilty of putting off. It’s true that it can be time-consuming and labour-intensive, and there are always more pressing jobs to be getting on with – like chasing up leads and making sales, for example.
However, inaccurate data could be causing serious harm to your business. It wastes the precious time of your sales team, skews all of your analysis and insights and over time, costs serious money. It makes sound business sense to stick to a regular schedule of data cleansing or even better, get a specialist in to do it for you.
What is data cleansing and why is it important?
If you’re facing your first data clean-up, you’ll need to understand the basics of what data cleansing is and why you should be doing it regularly.
The process of data scrubbing involves combing through your database and contacts lists to identify any outdated information. This could be a contact that has left the company, an incomplete phone number or an email address that repeatedly bounces. Now that GDPR has come into force, it should also include information being held that is irrelevant or unnecessary to your business activities.
Data cleansing offers three main benefits:
- Efficient time management
- Maintaining strong customer relationships
- Accurate and useful data-driven insights.
A clean database helps your whole business, from sales and marketing to customer service departments. It puts you in a strong strategic position, with accurate information to help you make key decisions about sales and lead generation tactics.
Planning your data scrubbing schedule
Data cleansing can be a real drain on your resources, so most companies tend to call in the experts to handle it for them. Data experts use sophisticated algorithms to identify weaknesses in the data, saving an enormous amount of time compared to trawling through lists manually. Automation also helps to minimise the risk of human error. They carry out exhaustive checks to ensure that you’re left with only the best quality data.
As for how often you should spring clean your data, it really depends on your business needs. A large business will collect a large amount of data very quickly, so may need data cleansing every three to six months.
Smaller businesses with less data are recommended to clean their data at least once a year. However, if you feel at any time that dirty data is costing you money or having a negative effect on productivity, efficiency or insights, it’s best to schedule in a data scrub.
First time cleaning your data? Be prepared for it to take longer and cost more, as your lists are likely to have built-up years of outdated and inaccurate data. Once your database is squeaky clean, it’ll be much easier to maintain it next time – provided you don’t leave it too long!
Ready for a spring clean? Call in the expert team at IT Focus for fast, efficient and professional data cleansing for businesses of all sizes. Call us on 0330 058 0100 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to get started.