Data gets “dirty” all on its own: people move, change names, divorce and remarry, and kids leave childhood. Suddenly, through no fault of your own, you’ve got incomplete records!
That’s unavoidable, but you can help keep your data trustworthy by paying attention to these Dos and Don’ts for Data Integrity:
Data input errors most often happen on your end, so eliminate as much as you can by offering online registration using intuitive software that minimizes the possibility of user error.
DON’T: Maintain multiple data sources
Using different Excel spreadsheets or Google Docs? This is a quick route to overlapping or excluded information, which is another way of saying “dirty data.”
DO: Establish a systematic approach to data processing, storage, sharing, manipulation, and reporting.
Everyone must be on the same page! Internal alignment, leadership discipline, and staff training and organization around processes are vital to data integrity.
DON’T: Underestimate your data as a strategic business resource.
Your data is valuable; treat its management as a priority.
DO: Assign a weekly data refresh to someone on your team
Unless you have a data geek or a perfectionist with plenty of spare time on your team, no one will take care of this without be assigned the job. Have your data “champion” keep a running list of changes and updates that need to be made in the system and insist that they are made every week. (If it’s you, just DO it!)
WHY DOES CLEAN DATA MATTER?
- Clean Data enables your messages to reach the target recipient, which increases loyalty and registrations and, therefore, revenue.
- Dirty Data wastes time, money, and opportunities.
- Clean Data empowers data analytics that make the difference between guessing and making reliable, data-driven decisions.
- Dirty Data puts you at a competitive disadvantage.
Your turn: Do you have any good practices that help you maintain clean data?