Written on 16th November 2021 - 2 minutes

The impact of poor data quality and consistency

The impact of poor quality data and consistency

Have you ever received multiples of a letter or email from a company? Or tried to update your details and are unable to find your record or been told it doesn’t exist?

It’s highly likely that the cause of this is quite simply a reflection on the quality and consistency of the data that the company is holding on you.

If you’re on the company side of the fence, keeping data cleansed and accurate is a tireless task but one that is so important when it comes to creating a positive and personalised customer experience.,

Cleansed and accurate data whilst avoiding having to go through time consuming processes and being able to provide insights from your data is the ultimate aim.

So how does data become inaccurate?

There are many ways

  • Falling behind with changes – if you hold title, surname, job title, organisation name and postal address these are just a handful of data fields that can easily become out of date whether it be a marriage, a job change, or a house move. If these things happen and you aren’t informed your data inaccuracies begin to grow
  • Inaccurate entry – we’re all human and keying in data can often see typos or errors made whether it be us inputting our own information or, customers entering it themselves, it can still happen.
  • Disparate systems – if your company has multiple systems dealing with the data that don’t talk to each other there is the risk that data updates in one would not be reflected across others.

How to limit inaccuracies

  • Check details each time your customer calls to ensure the basics are always up to date.
  • Send regular emails asking customers to check their details and contact preferences.
  • Add validation to data capture forms to catch as many potential errors as possible e.g. phone number fields have to be numerical and contain a fixed number of digits. Name fields always default to having a capital letter at the start, use address lookup tools to improve the accuracy, ask for email addresses to be entered twice and make use of mandatory fields.
  • Review and sense check your data before using to check for obvious missing information.
  • Never put holding text in a field e.g. ‘TBC’, if you then use this field in a communication it will not look great to your customer.
  • Create one central data warehouse that allows you to access one view of your data pulled from all systems and one central points for updates to be made.

If you have years of data in one or more systems the thought of a ‘big clean’ can be daunting but, the value that a data cleanse and re-structure can have not only enables you to provide a more personalised experience to your customers, but it also allows you to confidently analyse and report on your data.

In other words, be worthy of your customer’s trust and don’t do them a disservice by doing a poor job with your data, trust is hard won and easily lost.

If you want your company to grow, thrive and compete, then please look further into your data and get in touch if you want to chat all things data.

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