Original blog post published in March 2022
A business that deals with data in any capacity needs to be aware of the ways that data can be corrupted or lost. Data analytics is a powerful tool, but it only provides accurate information if the data being inputted is clean and reliable. A database management system is only as good as the data that's entered into it, and data processing can be hindered by data errors. Data integrity is essential for businesses to run efficiently and avoid losing money.
Let’s take a look at seven of the most common data errors made—leaving you informed and aware on how to save money in the long run.
Incorrect Data Entry Errors
From minor typos to blank spaces or even inaccuracies in data entry, these can be a big problem. Accurately recording the location and name of a lead or client in a contact sheet helps prevent redundancies and streamline your records. Data entry errors make up 26% of data quality issues, according to The Data Warehousing Institute (TDWI).
To manage this, consider investing in software that can help with creating, organizing, and maintaining accurate records for better performance. This will save you time and resources in the long run, as well as minimize frustration on your part and confusion for those who may need to access the data and be cost effective. Taking these steps will help ensure that your data is reliable and useful.
Duplicating Data Records
In databases and other operations, redundancies can cause a lot of problems. For example, having two or more records for one individual or one household creates errors in analysis, wastes money on delivery costs, and looks unprofessional. To avoid these issues, it's important to be able to spot redundancies. This can be tough to do, but using formulas or having a person go through the information, can save your company the headache later. However, it's worth taking the time to do it right the first time, as it will save you a lot of hassle in the long run.
There are many reasons why contact information changes over time. Individuals may have gotten married, changed their last name, moved to a new address, or changed jobs. As a result, it's important to keep your contact list up to date. Otherwise, you run the risk of ineffective communication and missed opportunities.
One way to do this is to use relational databases. This type of database allows you to easily retrieve data based on specific criteria. For example, you can search for all the contacts who live in a certain state or who work in a certain industry. This can be a huge time-saver when you're trying to update your list.
Many organizations have found that they are able to increase their productivity by ensuring that their lead forms are complete. This means that all of the necessary fields are filled in, such as a full address and contact name. There are many tools available that can help you to search for and structure your data set. By taking the time to fill in all of the necessary information, you can help to ensure that your organization is as productive as possible.
Including Deceased Individuals on Your List
When companies mail to customers who have passed away, it can cause them to appear insensitive or uncaring. Additionally, any materials sent to those customers are wasted. Companies should have a process in place for managing customer reports and other data components when customers pass away. This process should include things like updating customer records, contacting next of kin, and making changes to account preferences. By having a plan in place, companies can avoid the appearance of insensitivity and waste, and show that they care about their customers and their families.
Change of Address
According to the United States Postal Service (USPS), about 17% of US residents move every year. This means that a significant number of people are regularly changing their addresses. If you use USPS for your mail service, it's important to keep your records up to date so you can take advantage of postal discounts.
The USPS has a system in place called the National Change of Address (NCOA) database. This database is maintained by a network of Service providers and database administrators. When you update your address with the USPS, your information is entered into the NCOA database. This helps to ensure that your mail gets delivered to your new address even if you forget to update your records with the USPS. So if you've recently moved, be sure to update your address so you can take advantage of all the discounts that the USPS has to offer.
Combined Data Lists
You may house data from many sources, including web forms, outside lists, and more. Combining data from different periods can also cause problems. Your list will need maintenance after such a combination.
Make Sure Your Database Management Systems Are Updated!
Even if you have any of these data issues, through more explicit data management, you will be able to cut costs and make your business more efficient. Progressive Data Services offers digital services, including a mailing list, database management and analysis, and web application development for businesses of all sizes. To learn more about how we can serve your business needs, give us a call today at (248) 313-9120.