Different Types Of Dirty Data And How To Fix Them

Dirty data is essentially flawed information within a company’s database that can cause significant problems to the day to day running of a business.  In fact, according to Experian, the average company loses up to 12% of revenue due to dirty data.

Dirty data can occur unintentionally by either the company or the customer and can remain hidden for years causing a costly consequence behind the scenes. Take for example, a customer accidentally inputting the wrong apartment block when entering their address through an online form. With this error now saved on file, the company will then suffer from wasted resources, failed communications and poor efficiencies for years to come as they will be marketing to the wrong person. So how can you prevent this from happening with your business? The answer is simple – recognise where your data is dirty and then clean it!

There are many forms of dirty data but here are a few common types that you should be wary of within your business:

  1. Duplicate Data

One of the most common forms of dirty data is having unnecessary duplicates of the same information saved on a database. Having copies of the same data on a CRM system can cause wasted resources such as time and spend, misinformed decision making, forecasting and results.

  1. Incomplete Data

Another common type of dirty data is having partial information saved on a database. Incomplete data can occur when customers leave a crucial part of their contact information out such as their house number, location, phone number and so on. This form of dirty data will not only leave gaps in your database but can also cause huge holes in marketing campaigns and effectiveness.

Tip: When creating an online form, ensure all crucial questions are marked as “important fields” so the customer must provide the information before progressing any further.

  1. Inconsistent Data

Data can become inconsistent when the information captured within a company is non-standardised. This means when one department asks for a customer’s address and requires a house name or number and another department only asks for an Eircode, the information stored within the company’s database is now inconsistent.

Tip: When asking customers for contact information, ensure a there is a standardised and centralised company procedure such as a script to ensure all the information captured is correct and consistent.

  1. Inaccurate Data

Inaccurate data happens all too often due to human error. If your data is incorrect, your business will suffer from a variety of issues such as missed opportunities, inaccurate reporting and poor customer experience, to name a few.

Tip: When creating an online form, ensure all questions are clear, concise and specific. Provide examples of answers beside each question to help customers understand what information you are seeking. Take for example: “What is your eircode? Eg. N3458H0”

So you’ve picked up a few tips on how to prevent dirty data, but how exactly can you clean your current data?

AddressFix is a simple, cost effective and easy to use web based service that allows you to clean up your entire customer list in a matter of minutes. Backed by An Post and Ordnance Survey Ireland, this innovative online service allows you to check, verify and clean your company’s address list and add valuable information such as Eircodes, business classifications and website addresses.

AddressFix will go through your data excel spreadsheet and update information that is incomplete, incorrect or improperly formatted. By identifying and correcting inaccurate address data, AddressFix will enhance your addresses to ensure you connect with your customer first time and delight them every time. And the best part? You only pay for the addresses we match!

As we’ve seen, cleaning your dirty data can prevent against many harmful issues and can even save your business up to 12% in revenue. So why not get a free health check of your data today and see just how clean your data really is?

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