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Data quality is more important than ever and poor data quality does not help you to use it effectively

Aniel Balradj, 07 december 2022

Poor data quality builds itself up over the years and here’s how to deal with it.

No matter how forward you are, data quality deteriorates if you don’t give it the attention it needs.

What is bad data?

Bad data can be defined as ‘inaccurate’ data. Business uses data to understand the market, study customers, know about competitors, and make decisions. This data must be correct and reliable for a business to be able to count on it. Misspells, incomplete, poor format, spelling variations, missing parts, and typos are some small problems that can lead to major trouble. In addition to this, missing information or incorrect information can also result in bad data. A lot of analysts make the mistake of basing their judgments on poor data. Some realize the importance of data checking too late, which results in a waste of time and resources. For example, when you are implementing and integrating new software with your already existing ERP solution.

How to manage bad data quality? – Accept and you will succeed!

Step number one is to accept that you as a company have bad and incomplete data.

The issue with data is that it’s not always clear if your data is good or bad. Therefore, it is important that you learn more about data and how to identify bad data.

A few signs include:

Also, another reason for poor data can be the customer himself: Believe it or not, customers are known to deliberately provide incorrect or missing information because:

There are solutions for this problem – A data quality program can be the solution

Once you realize you have bad data, it’s time to make changes to it. There is a data management tool that can handle a lot of issues, for example, duplicate and missing information. But in some cases, the software may not be enough.

For example, about 25 percent of users change email addresses every year. A data matching software can correct small typos and match email addresses against databases, but it cannot always find the new email address of a user.

Therefore, it is important that businesses revise and update data at least once a year. Your email list and address list will be useless in a few years if you fail to update them.

Updating data is said to be easier than collecting data. Users who shared their email or other personal details with you the first time are more likely to share it for a second time as long as they have trust in you and your data management practices.

In addition to this, you can also use other techniques to revise and update data. Phone numbers, for example, can be verified through databases or by sending bulk messages.

Tips and tricks on how to handle this

Do not request personal information unless it’s necessary – explain to the customer why it is necessary
Explain how you intend to use this data and how it can benefit them
Highlight the steps you take to ensure data security

The employees are the key

Bad data can be managed better if your employees know what to do with it. Remember that just because a collection of data contains some ‘bad’ clusters, doesn’t mean it’s useless. It might be salvageable. You will need a reliable data-matching tool to extract good data from it. Teach your employees how to collect, handle, dispose of, and manage data.

Aniel Balradj

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