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Data Cleansing: what is it and why is it important?

Miniature people cleaning white keyboard computer.

Data is an essential part of almost every key business decision. Effective marketing, analytics and customer engagement are only possible with quality data, making it essential to keep your data clean and up-to-date with an effective data management strategy. Poor quality data almost certainly means bad results, which is where data cleansing can help.

What exactly is data cleansing and why does it matter?

As data becomes more and more central to the ways businesses operate, data cleansing plays a more important role than ever in ensuring that data is clean and accurate.

That said, data cleansing is essentially just good data management to tackle all the inaccurate, wrong or wrongly formatted, irrelevant or duplicated information lurking in a database.

Over time, businesses acquire large amounts of customer and prospect data, and no matter how good the data capture and management systems are, there will always be errors in the dataset.

So it’s about updating, correcting and consolidating data to boost effectiveness, rather than zapping things completely. But it’s also about making sure you’re left with the highest-quality data and ensuring your datasets only contain information that is meaningful, accurate and complete.

Businesses and organisations rely heavily on the quality of the data they collect and hold, particularly in the current digital age of marketing where businesses primarily engage with customers using digital communications.

The bottom line is that without clean data, businesses and organisations are unable to make informed decisions based on reliable data and not only that are at risk of facing GDPR fines.

Being GDPR-compliant is essential for any business that acquires and holds customer data, as non-GDPR-compliant organisations run the risk of legal intervention and brand damage, as well as substantial fines.

i4b Compliant Data

In addition to keeping your data accurate and legally compliant, there are many other benefits to be gained from maintaining clean data:

1. Improved Efficiency & Cost Savings

Outdated or inaccurate data yields the wrong insights, making any marketing campaign based on it inefficient and wasteful. It costs money to hold data, and if portions of that data are incorrect or irrelevant, this wastes money and budget that could be spent on retaining better quality data. It also costs to pay staff who are responsible for processing and troubleshooting data errors and inconsistencies, all of which can be avoided with a clean dataset.

The process of data cleansing typically targets a specific area, e.g. a particular spreadsheet. And it can take a fair old while if information has been building up over years, which is why it needs doing regularly rather than as a one-off. ‘

2. Better decision-making

Keeping your data clean can also help support better decision-making processes. Having a clean dataset gives a more accurate overview of customer information and analytics, which allows businesses to make decisions more confidently and strategically. Dirty’ data ultimately costs money, while information that’s regularly scrubbed until it sparkles will make the resulting insights significantly more accurate.

3. Improved Productivity

By keeping the datasets they work with clean and accurate you can help improve your team productivity. Doing this avoids the need for workers to sift through large and potentially irrelevant datasets by ensuring it only contains high-quality information. For larger datasets, teams may not have the appropriate resources or time to manually review customer information, making it beneficial to maintain a clean dataset from the outset.

4. Improved Customer Acquisition & Retention

You can also improve customer acquisition and retention because customers can only be acquired successfully if the data you hold on them is correct. Clean prospect data ensures that you are reaching out to valid contacts and ensures that you are communicating with those customers appropriately. A consistent and clean approach to data will also help speed up the onboarding process and give the customer a better experience.

So it’s perhaps hardly surprising that one recent study (from Infogroup) found that 90% of organisations which gather information reckon data quality is one of their biggest headaches. And many are not making the most of their data.

i4b How Clean Is your Data

How clean is your data?

Is your data accurate?

Check whether your data reflects the values that they should.

Is your data complete?

Check whether your data contains any missing values.

Is your data consistent?

Check whether your data has any inconsistent categories or naming conventions.

Is your data formatted correctly?

Check whether your data contains any spelling errors and uses the same units of measure throughout.

i4b How we keep it clean

How we keep it clean

At i-4business, we know all information needs spot-on, watertight accuracy. We own all our own data. We’re not aggregators and we buy no data from external sources. We only use our in-house researchers to ensure our data is cleansed regularly.

Every member of our team is UK-based, but they’re also native speakers checking marketing data from their countries of origin in their own language. All our data is collected in the proper way to ensure compliance, accuracy and quality. We don’t use 3rd parties, forbidden tactics, or rely on tech and we are so confident in our processes that we guarantee data compliance, quality and accuracy in SLAs.

Our turn for a question: would you like free access to the i-4business database for 30 days?

We offer a free 30-Day Trial and access to our specialist EMEA database so that you can evaluate our service for yourself. We are confident that you will reap the benefits – enjoying continual, compliant, and cost-effective leads to nurture your teams and grow your business.

For unrestricted access to our B2B data for 30 days try our 30-Day Trial.

Miniature people cleaning white keyboard computer.

Data is an essential part of almost every key business decision. Effective marketing, analytics and customer engagement are only possible with quality data, making it essential to keep your data clean and up-to-date with an effective data management strategy. Poor quality data almost certainly means bad results, which is where data cleansing can help.

What exactly is data cleansing and why does it matter?

As data becomes more and more central to the ways businesses operate, data cleansing plays a more important role than ever in ensuring that data is clean and accurate.

That said, data cleansing is essentially just good data management to tackle all the inaccurate, wrong or wrongly formatted, irrelevant or duplicated information lurking in a database.

Over time, businesses acquire large amounts of customer and prospect data, and no matter how good the data capture and management systems are, there will always be errors in the dataset.

So it’s about updating, correcting and consolidating data to boost effectiveness, rather than zapping things completely. But it’s also about making sure you’re left with the highest-quality data and ensuring your datasets only contain information that is meaningful, accurate and complete.

Businesses and organisations rely heavily on the quality of the data they collect and hold, particularly in the current digital age of marketing where businesses primarily engage with customers using digital communications.

The bottom line is that without clean data, businesses and organisations are unable to make informed decisions based on reliable data and not only that are at risk of facing GDPR fines.

Being GDPR-compliant is essential for any business that acquires and holds customer data, as non-GDPR-compliant organisations run the risk of legal intervention and brand damage, as well as substantial fines.

i4b Compliant Data

In addition to keeping your data accurate and legally compliant, there are many other benefits to be gained from maintaining clean data:

1. Improved Efficiency & Cost Savings

Outdated or inaccurate data yields the wrong insights, making any marketing campaign based on it inefficient and wasteful. It costs money to hold data, and if portions of that data are incorrect or irrelevant, this wastes money and budget that could be spent on retaining better quality data. It also costs to pay staff who are responsible for processing and troubleshooting data errors and inconsistencies, all of which can be avoided with a clean dataset.

The process of data cleansing typically targets a specific area, e.g. a particular spreadsheet. And it can take a fair old while if information has been building up over years, which is why it needs doing regularly rather than as a one-off. ‘

2. Better decision-making

Keeping your data clean can also help support better decision-making processes. Having a clean dataset gives a more accurate overview of customer information and analytics, which allows businesses to make decisions more confidently and strategically. Dirty’ data ultimately costs money, while information that’s regularly scrubbed until it sparkles will make the resulting insights significantly more accurate.

3. Improved Productivity

By keeping the datasets they work with clean and accurate you can help improve your team productivity. Doing this avoids the need for workers to sift through large and potentially irrelevant datasets by ensuring it only contains high-quality information. For larger datasets, teams may not have the appropriate resources or time to manually review customer information, making it beneficial to maintain a clean dataset from the outset.

4. Improved Customer Acquisition & Retention

You can also improve customer acquisition and retention because customers can only be acquired successfully if the data you hold on them is correct. Clean prospect data ensures that you are reaching out to valid contacts and ensures that you are communicating with those customers appropriately. A consistent and clean approach to data will also help speed up the onboarding process and give the customer a better experience.

So it’s perhaps hardly surprising that one recent study (from Infogroup) found that 90% of organisations which gather information reckon data quality is one of their biggest headaches. And many are not making the most of their data.

i4b How Clean Is your Data

How clean is your data?

Is your data accurate?

Check whether your data reflects the values that they should.

Is your data complete?

Check whether your data contains any missing values.

Is your data consistent?

Check whether your data has any inconsistent categories or naming conventions.

Is your data formatted correctly?

Check whether your data contains any spelling errors and uses the same units of measure throughout.

i4b How we keep it clean

How we keep it clean

At i-4business, we know all information needs spot-on, watertight accuracy. We own all our own data. We’re not aggregators and we buy no data from external sources. We only use our in-house researchers to ensure our data is cleansed regularly.

Every member of our team is UK-based, but they’re also native speakers checking marketing data from their countries of origin in their own language. All our data is collected in the proper way to ensure compliance, accuracy and quality. We don’t use 3rd parties, forbidden tactics, or rely on tech and we are so confident in our processes that we guarantee data compliance, quality and accuracy in SLAs.

Our turn for a question: would you like free access to the i-4business database for 30 days?

We offer a free 30-Day Trial and access to our specialist EMEA database so that you can evaluate our service for yourself. We are confident that you will reap the benefits – enjoying continual, compliant, and cost-effective leads to nurture your teams and grow your business.

For unrestricted access to our B2B data for 30 days try our 30-Day Trial.

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About i-4business

At i-4business we’re EMEA B2B data specialists. We offer access to:

You can find out more by calling us on 01252 367400, emailing support@i4b.com, or by completing our contact form.

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