How Data Cleansing and Standardization Adds Value to Marketing
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How Data Cleansing and Standardization Adds Value to Marketing

Author: Puneet Vij | Categories: Content Marketing, CMS, Online Marketing, Wealth Management

data cleansing

As digital marketers, we are continually struggling with the heaps of data that accumulates on an everyday basis. We aim to cleanse the available data and standardize it so as to keep it handy and make it useful. While we are all trying to achieve this, the bitter truth is that not everyone may taste success. Nonetheless, everyone who accomplishes it deserves recognition for managing his database well!

So, what’s all the fuss surrounding data cleansing and standardization? Let’s take a deep dive to understand it completely.

  • What is data cleansing and standardization?

  • How can we have clean and standardized data?

  • How can this be beneficial for an organization?

What is data cleaning and standardization?

Data cleaning is the process of correcting inaccurate data in the database. It refers to identifying the incorrect/ inaccurate data and then modifying it appropriately.

Data standardization, on the other hand, is the process of transforming data (available in different formats) to a standard format, so as to enhance its efficiency and boost its filtering capability.

How can we clean data and standardize it?

There are different ways that you may follow to ensure that all existing and upcoming data is cleansed and standardized. Two of the simplest processes are highlighted below for you:

Data audit

Cross check key fields to see that the entered data is correct.

  • The ‘Email address’ field should not contain incorrect email addresses such as containing “@” twice or junk characters.

  • No numeric values in a ‘Name’ field.

  • The ‘Phone’ field should have limitations based on the phone format. For example, the ‘Mobile’ field should have a limit of 10 characters (although this may vary based on the country). The ‘Landline’ field should have 8 or 10 characters (country specific)

  • In the ‘Country’ field, the country name should contain a specific value, in place of multiple values for the same country. For example, The U.S.A or The U.S. or The United States of America.

  • A ‘Pin code’ field should contain data based on country. For example, pin code for Delhi region is only numeric whereas for Australia it is alpha-numeric.

Setup of programs

A data audit can help you identify the prevalent issues. Post this, you may set up automated programs to minimize such errors from repeating. Also, by automating the process, you can fix the ongoing issues without manually cleansing the data every time there is a data load or in case there are issues while syncing with a new system. To summarize, clean and standardized data allows you to:

  • Clean out the value in fields that are not relevant with column headers. An example is when the name fields have a value of “.” or a junk character. The automated programs would then clean out the value for that record

  • Provide automated replacement programs for values that are entered multiple times (different value) but refer to one unique value in the database like replacing U.S. or United States of America with U.S.A, or as per business needs. Work with the businesses on what makes the most sense – there maybe requirements for billing, sales, or other database owners.

  • You can also intimate the sales and marketing teams on the number of contacts that do not have a value in a field, or in case the data in this field is blank. Sales can gather the data at relevant points, and marketing can use forms and progressive profiling to fill in the blanks.

These processes allow you to filter out data, provide format standardization, and ensure that there is a process to follow for data upload, data transfer, or data coming via forms or third party data.

Overall benefits of data cleansing and standardization

There are huge benefits associated with clean and standardized data sets. In the least, you have all your data arranged neatly for you to use it, as and when you need. Furthermore, by automating the process, you can save time and money, and speed up your marketing efforts too.

To summarize, clean and standardized data allows you to:

  • Easily group and filter data for segmenting your database

  • Effectively score leads

  • Improve the efficiency of customer acquisition

  • Streamline business functions and data mapping

  • Enhance the email deliverability rate

  • Remain confident that your personalization is correct and that it can be executed without worrying about errors in the data

Marketing teams should have a solution for standardizing and cleaning data. With the increasing complexity in the way we market – from utilizing personas, to customer journey mapping and dynamic personalization – accurate and relevant data is a necessity. Data is the backbone of marketing and can make or mar the performance of an effective campaign.