For any data-driven sales or marketing campaign, the importance of conducting regular data cleansing is clear: According to statistics from salesforce.com, about 70 percent of all customer data goes bad on a yearly basis. Because of the changing nature of the underlying data, there is nothing you can do to prevent this from happening – Companies are merged or acquired, people may move to a different location, get a promotion, or move to a different company. One way to ensure that your data stays accurate and relevant as time goes by, is to use data cleansing services. There are two main types of data cleansing services: manual and automatic.
Automatic Data Cleansing Service
Automatic data cleansing involves verification of your existing database by using specialized software, master database repositories and data analysis tools. There are four main aspects of cleaning data using this approach:
- Validating email addresses through a software tool that checks whether emails are likely to bounce or not
- Checking contacts for duplicate information, naming inconsistencies, data entry errors etc. and consolidating and standardizing the data
- Checking master B2B databases and National Change of Address databases and updating incorrect or missing information in your contacts list
- Verifying phone numbers using automated dialers.
Manual Data Cleansing Services
While Manual data cleansing does utilize some automated methods such as email validation, data de-duping and data standardization, it offers a deeper analysis with human beings manually, and anonymously, verifying much of your contact level and company level information including:
- Making phone calls, to ensure that contacts are still in the same position, and verifying/correcting their contact information (phone number, email, etc.).
- Replacing non-existent contacts with new contacts in the same position
- Checking and updating company and contact information from external databases, websites and social media profiles.
Automatic vs. Manual: Which one is better?
The question of which data-cleansing method to use depends on your individual situation, and how do you intend to use your database. Automatic data cleansing may provide quicker results, since it doesn’t depend on manual verification and is preferred for large data sets. Automatic data cleansing may be best if you use the data for digital or email marketing. It can quickly clean the existing data, append missing information and help you do a better segmentation by getting more firmographic information on companies. In addition, automatic data cleansing works better if you have international data sets.
On the other hand, manual data cleansing is best for the situations where every record matters, and you want to take the time to get your data as close to perfect as possible. It may be the best choice to support sales and business development people who need high-quality data that provides detailed information about a small group of targeted prospects. I would recommend manual cleaning or verification especially if the data is being used for your sales or inside sales team for making calls to set up meetings.
You can also consider a hybrid approach that employs the best elements of both manual and automatic cleansing.
To learn more, download this sample data health scan from Sales Inside Inc. today. The scan will show you a real example of how an automatic data health scan can help you ensure data quality and completeness, and help you maintain your contact lists.
Image Source : Cliff