Do you have hundreds, thousands, maybe even a million records that need organizing and updating? Are your contacts and existing data out of date with duplicates? Yes, it’s a huge job, but no need to feel overwhelmed.
The truth is, you’ll never be able to do it yourself. It’s an impossible task that would take you so much more time than it’s worth. Don’t worry! There are tools out there to help you reach your goals. Having a good data system to ensure its authenticity and to maintain its accuracy will not only feel great, but you’ll be excited to watch your profits rise and your success flourish.
The first thing you need to know is the worst mistake you can make is to procrastinate on this job. It is something that is essential to your company and it is imperative that you are proactive in correcting the situation. The money that is spent on inaccurate data is staggering. Think about how many mailings, emails, and phone calls are directed at the wrong person, or it simply never arrives. All this is time, time and more time, including wasted resources.
The second thing to do is examine your data. How many fields there are and what data has been collected. How old is first entries of data? Try to take random entries from every year, perhaps one entry for every month. For example, if your data dates back to year 1998, then you would have 19 years of data. By taking one entry per month, 19 years X 12 months = 228.
This will allow you to analyse and to set forth a course of action. 228 is a manageable number that will provide you with an understanding of how your data evolved over this period of time. Now you can start running tests with some quality software. Utilizing some free software demos, instead of leaping out and purchasing software sight unseen is a smart way to go. Data Ladder out of Suffield, CT has a strong reputation and provides an instant free download from their website.
During your testing phase, you will not only learn about the software of your choice, but you will learn to apply certain rules (settings) to the software that suits your data condition. Once you know how to work your way around the software and the settings that provide the best results, you’ll be in a great position apply it to every entry over 19 years of data.
With this method, you will be able to analyze, prepare, and test out powerful tools against your existing data. You will be able to see instant results that will provide you with a visual of the end result. Seeing the end result and making sure of it’s accurate is a very valuable as “close to accurate” data is just not good enough. Data quality is a function of a much larger picture. It’s about protecting all your previous marketing efforts along with the ability to make precise business decisions moving forward. The truth is, every single record is important. Do not compromise your data matching accuracy. Failing to reach the needed organization and precision of today’s marketplace would be a major business mistake.
The workflow noted in this article makes huge projects much easier. Instead of pulling out your hair and spending money on sight-unseen software, you now can let powerful software do the magic for you, including a trial run that does not require any upfront investment.
Large data jobs are no longer a stressful nightmare. Considering the new technology in data cleansing software, it’s time to switch from working hard on your data, to working smarter.