5 Ways To Prevent Bad Data in Your Business

Businesses often overlook the quality of their customer data due to a lack of knowledge, time and resources. Many of these may underestimate the true power behind understanding the link between data processes and business processes. When data is managed, stored and used incorrectly, this can cause huge operational inefficiencies for the company. In fact, it was revealed that poor customer data costs $611 billion per year for U.S. firms alone. Scary, right? But fear not, there are ways of avoiding such costly mistakes.

Here are GeoDirectory’s top 5 ways to avoid bad data


1. Prevention is better than cure

If you can set up a process of ensuring your data collection is robust from the very beginning, then it will save you a lot of hassle in years to come.

Simple things like ensuring you, or your staff, ask the person at the other end of the phone or counter to spell out a name or address if you have any doubts are crucial in data collection. An easy error like assuming the name "Daire" is spelt "Darragh" can leaves your company's database filled with inaccuracies and inconsistencies which could lead to a waste of resources and time down the line. Find out some ways you can ensure your business has a standardised and centralised data collection policy here.


2. Bad data at the customer end

You hold the power of ensuring that your data capturing process is bullet proof, but what about when customers are adding their details to a company’s online form? How do they ensure spelling, address details etc. can be rectified? It is estimated that a delivery sent to the wrong location due to the customer inputting incorrect address details costs as much as €14.37, so even just 10 missed deliveries can end up having a big effect on the bottom line for a small business.

We here at GeoDirectory recommend integrating an Application Programming Interface (API) that validates addresses as they are entered online on your website. Not only will this create a more seamless process for the customer through enhancing their online experience, it will also ensure far greater accuracy in the data captured and therefore minimises the risk of wasted costs, such as missed deliveries. To find out more about why your business needs an address verification API, please click here.


3. Out of date data 

If a business decides to launch a marketing campaign to their current customer list but 30% of the businesses on their mailing list have either closed, moved to a new location or their email is no longer valid – just think of the time, effort and money being misdirected and misspent.

A business must ensure there are processes in place that enable staff to check their customer lists are accurate, consistent, standardised and up to date. But how exactly can you achieve that without calling up each customer? AddressFix is a simple, cost effective and easy to use web based service that will go through your data excel spreadsheet and let you know just how clean your customer list really is. Why not try out a free data health check for your customer list here.


4. Storage of data

Be it in retail or service industries, many companies in this area often run competitions in the hopes of obtaining contact details such as names and numbers from potential leads. But what really happens to the data once the competition has ended? It is surprising how many firms would end up deleting this crucial data and not saving it for future use. In fact, Forrester Research reported that most companies only analyze 12% of the data they have, leaving a staggering 88% of company data unutilized. 

Setting up a secure and GDPR compliant processes of sorting this information for future use (in an Excel or Access table for example) would be a prudent and easy way to maximise the benefits from having this data at your disposal. Password protecting such files would also be a very good idea.

5. Resistance to change

The word "data" can be intimidating to a lot of people, however, it really doesnt have to be that scary at all. The key is for a business to thrive in this now data-centric era is to be open to change and willing to learn. According to Mckinsey Global Institute, data-driven organizations are not only 23 times more likely to acquire new customers, but they’re also six times as likely to retain customers.

Once your business becomes more data-driven, it will be a lot easier to spot where the quality lacks throughout your database and encourage a culture that will continuously analyse and strive for improvement. As stated by Sigma, almost half (48%) of all employees report their companies do not offer or do not make it clear that they offer any sort of data training, so why not invest in a company data training course to upskill your employees and reap the rewards. To get you started off on the right track, check out our Seven Golden Rules Of Data Quality.

If you found this blog useful, you may be interested in our recent webinar where we covered common data mistakes and how to fix them here.
Posted: 26/07/2021 10:58:55