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Your step-by-step guide to data cleansing

16 September, 2019 Your step-by-step guide to data cleansing

Why cleansing data will make all the difference to your business, and where to start.

It’s one thing to decide to go through data cleansing.

Doing the job right is a whole different ballpark.

Approach data cleansing the wrong way and things will get missed and you’ll end up allowing your data to lead to mistakes.

Approach it right and you’ll save time and money and you’ll end up with very accurate and up to date information.

The type of information that can make you a lot of money!

 We always recommend cleansing your database in stages. So here’s a step-by-step view of the best way to approach data cleansing.

Step one.

Think about the type of data you are holding.

To work out where you should start, think about the sort of data you’re holding. If it’s a simple contact database, you’d be best going straight in with duplicate removal.

If there’s more to your database than that – say you’ve got info on client purchases or client notes in there too – you’d be better off starting with de-duplication. The trick here is to not actually remove the duplicates but instead to assimilate them into one record per contact.

(Just to warn you, that’ll require manual input without a database technician.)

Step two

Data Validation.

Next comes the data validation review to make sure your data is accurate and complete.

Let’s face it, there’s no point wasting your time and money to send a letter to the wrong place!

People tend to review based on fields like address, phone number and email address.

Step three

Compare your database.

There’s also no point in sending a campaign to people who’ve moved or, err, died.

The way to avoid making that mistake is to compare your database to a known list of people who’ve left an address or who are no longer with us.

Do this step right and you can avoid losing existing contacts unnecessarily, simply by giving them the opportunity to change their address.

Step four

Check your data against Preference Services

This is a bit of a crucial one.

It’s vital that you check your data against preference services during the cleansing process.

They were set up to give people the chance to opt out of any forms of contact, and breaches are taken pretty seriously by the relevant authorities.

It’s not just the Telephone Preference Service (TPS) that you’ll need to check either. There’s the Mailing Preference Service (MPS) and the Email Preference Service (EPS) too.

And, get this, the Fax Preference Service (FPS) is still going strong!

Step five

Subject preference information checklist.

After checking individuals against the public preference service lists, you’ll need to check their subject preference information in their contact record within your own database too.

It’s an absolute must if you’re marketing to consumers or B2B.

Now, all of this might sound long winded and pretty tricky. But that’s where Flow comes in.

See, we can help you create the proper procedures you need to attain consent and retain individuals’ preferences.

We provide a returns service to help you manage the information too.

Have a read on GDPR and Direct Mail: what does GDPR actually mean for Direct mail and how handling data can be risky.

But doing it the right way can guarantee you great profits and a prosperous future for your business.

Also do not forget to read about benefits of data cleansing here and it will enable you to get the best out of your data, without the risk.

So if you want to get the best out of your data…
If you want to do so the risk-free, stress-free way…
Even if you just want a little advice about where to start…

Fill in our contact form here. 



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