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 In Data Cleaning, Data Cleansing

blue_dataWe all know that efficient, high quality marketing is reliant on accurate targeting – and that accurate targeting is reliant on high quality data. This is why data cleansing (sometimes called data scrubbing or cleaning) is crucial.

Typically most companies acquire data that is ‘dirty’ – with inaccuracies, typing or transcribing errors, misspellings, missing fields, duplications and out of date information. The odd wrong address or old phone number may seem minor, but in reality every time you target the wrong person or company by sending a mailout to an old address or ringing an old phone number, you lose money.

In the current economic climate, business roles – and the employees who fill them – are changing more rapidly than ever as companies fail, merge, or simply strive to make the most efficient use of their staff and resources. So it’s vital to ensure you are targeting the people who hold the responsibility (or the purse strings!) for whatever you’re trying to market.

Even if your original data is relatively clean and regularly updated, anomalies can still arise when data from several sources are integrated into one central database, instantly turning your wonderfully clean data into dirty data that’s impossible to mine, sort and use effectively.

[h2]Cleansing your Marketing List[/h2]

So how can you turn your dirty data into clean data – and make sure it stays that way? Of course, you could employ someone to check your data manually, and spend every day trawling through your database. But realistically this isn’t a viable option – and it’s certainly not a cheap one!

Data cleansing is the modern, efficient answer, using a software tool to remove inconsistencies and duplications. A good data cleansing tool will use advanced or ‘fuzzy’ data matching to discover and rationalise duplicate records that may appear different due to errors or differences in data format (e.g. an abbreviation such as ‘Rd’ may have been used in one record, but not in its duplicate).

It will also allow you to cleanse lists and files from a variety of sources and will validate your data too, removing spaces and unprintable characters, and standardising formats within fields and ranges. One big advantage of this is that it can allow your company to print postage labels or information directly from the database, ensuring accurate labelling and a neat, uniform appearance on all your mailouts.

Data cleansing can save even the smallest of companies a great deal of time and money. With a limited budget, clean data and more efficient marketing become even higher priorities, so data cleansing can be even more vital for small businesses than large corporations. WinPure has a range of high quality cleansing tools to suit any budget, and there are no monthly or yearly charges – just a one-off fee. Free trials are also available, so why not visit their website to discover more about their data cleansing software tools and the benefits they can bring to your business.

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