What is data hygiene and why is it so important?

What is data hygiene? Data hygiene is also known as data cleansing and this is one of the prerequisites of successful business, but not everyone is familiar with the depth of this concept. It refers to working with clean databases and ensuring the removal of unnecessary or incorrect data. This incorrect data is commonly known as “uncleansed”. It can span from data with irregularities, data that is stored incorrectly, to simply irrelevant or outdated data.

Businesses should aim to avoid obtaining uncleansed data or remove as much of it as possible to ensure high productivity within their organisation. Only data which is correct is meaningful to a firm, and so ideally from the outset a clean database should be used. This may not always be the case, and so the data must be addressed to dispose of any poor data. This process is known as Data Cleansing; there are a few standard procedures for this:

Data Screening

Sometimes errors in a database can comprise of not saving the accurate contact numbers and email addresses of possible clients. This can be a nightmare for companies which have to deal with large amounts of data within their campaigns. Data management and cleansing tools thus prevent any issues in the data efficiency caused by possible mismanagement. It ensures an organisation smooth working without any obstacles and hindrances, and also boosts the efficiency of transactions exponentially.

Manual Cleansing

Data cleansing can also be run manually, but this has to be done by a person who will have to verify all of the details and also check for any mistakes and irregularities. Their duties also include the disposing of out-of-date records in order to ensure that only new and relevant data is stored in the database. This sort of cleansing is however very time consuming to get the data up to proper hygiene standards. Manual composition of a database is also time consuming, however is one of the ways that you can guarantee the data meets all the criteria of your specific campaign.

Electronic Data Cleansing

As the name suggests, this kind of B2B data cleansing includes complex operations and is usually done with the help of advanced computer applications which follow certain sets of rules controlled by a user. Deleting unwanted or outdated records, providing spell checks of different documents simultaneously and getting rid of duplicated files are all processes which contribute to good data hygiene practice. This form of data cleansing is also quite fast in comparison to manual cleansing however it could make mistakes such as changing a correct spelling to make it incorrect whereas with manual cleaning the person doing it has to take more care and time when checking meaning that they can pick up on the things the program might miss.

Managing big and bulky databases is indeed an arduous task which needs a lot of care and discipline. It also takes a lot of time no matter which method you use.  The matter of data cleansing should be focused upon and shouldn’t be ignored.  Thanks to the modern age and its digital technology, businesses are now shifting to the practices of properly handling, analysing, and storing raw data. This art of management of data and converting the raw data into valuable information which is catered to each campaign is extremely vital for survival of businesses.  Focusing on any data concerns lets you smoothly and efficiently run your business and allows you to focus on other important business matters, as well as not wasting time and money.

The consequences of storing uncleansed business data are serious and can include increased expenditures on printing and postage for direct mail campaigns, or a waste of any telemarketing staff’s time and profitability within telesales. Hence, any organization should take serious measures against the accumulation of uncleansed databases and should therefore maintain high expectations for the quality of any data that they purchase.

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