Welcome to Data 101 Part 3. Now that you’ve set up your database and collected data, it’s time to go through your database to weed out unnecessary entries.
It might be great to know you have 78 trillion customers in your database, but what if only 56 of those entries are engaged customers? That 78 trillion number isn’t quite as impressive anymore, is it? It’s better to have 56 engaged customers than 78 trillion empty entries.
As your database grows, it becomes increasingly more important (and difficult) to ensure your database is a highly accurate picture of your customer base. At this stage, it becomes critical to spend your time and budget updating only engaged customers.
There are several things you can do to ensure your database has value. Hire someone designated for data entry, append data from other sources or set up a landing page to collect additional information.
But first, set a unique ID for each customer in your database. This can then be used to identify purchasing information. This will also help lower the incidence of duplication within the database.
Identify key data points and check to make sure the data is housed in the correct fields. It’s not uncommon to find customer comments in fields, like ‘no thanks’ or ‘DO NOT OFFER CREDIT’. It’s important to eliminate this information for obvious reasons. Keep your data in an orderly format for the most accurate counts and processes.
Next, check every field for complete information. The more complete the information the better. Do you need to append or correct zip codes or other address information such as City or State? Once every field is complete, browse through your data again. Are there any customers that fall outside of your market? Eliminate or redirect any customer entries that belong elsewhere.
It’s important to identify an individual or team within your organization to take responsibility to ensure data is entered correctly. This doesn’t have to mean that data is entered manually, but you should have consistent control over your data to maintain a quality database.
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– Pete Pomatto