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How to make an effective cleaning of your databases?

Your databases are supposed to facilitate your exchanges with your clients and allow you to share information within your company. However, if they are not kept up to date, they can hinder the achievement of strategic objectives.

What is a database and why do you need one?

In concrete terms, what is a database? It is a structured system that allows you to store many types of information concerning your customers, your employees or even your orders.     

When should you consider implementing such a system?    

First of all, it allows an efficient sharing of information between all departments, because the information is gathered in one place. 

Secondly, the more your business evolves and grows, the more data you will have to process, which is why systems like CRM (Customer Relationship Management) become a key tool to make every exchange between you and your consumers profitable.     

To learn more about this type of database, check out this article.

Third, if you have important or confidential information, it is necessary to ensure that you limit access to this data by using tools that provides a high level of security.  

Fourth, with databases, you can automate some of the work that needs to be done and therefore reduce the risk of redundancy or human error. According to Forbes, 57% of data scientists consider cleaning and organizing data to be the least enjoyable part of their job.

The fact that some of this cleansing can be done automatically is also a huge benefit, as it eliminates some of the work that is considered time-consuming and labor-intensive with no real added value.  

What are the benefits of regularly cleaning your databases?

The majority of business decisions are based on the information stored and collected between you and your customers. Without the collection and organization of this data, it is not possible to make informed choices and reach specific goals such as increased customer satisfaction.   

Even with the implementation of a database, errors can still creep in, which is why it is essential to clean it up regularly. If the database is inconsistent or not updated, it becomes obsolete and could be detrimental to your company’s success.  

Some tips to keep your systems up to date

Databases like CRM don’t have a long lifespan. According to Informatica, every year 30% of data becomes unusable.  

To avoid frustration and gain real strategic insights based on quality data, you need to do an assessment to determine what deserves to stay or what should be deleted.

Here are some types of information to eliminate from your database.

This may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s important to clean up duplicates, as these can distort your decisions and lower your productivity. 

You also need to identify contacts who are no longer subscribers or who do not engage with your content, as it is no longer relevant to keep data from customers who no longer show interest in your product or service offering. This is what we call a dormant user. To help you clean up, you can set a rule. For example, you could say that after 90 days of inactivity the customer becomes “dormant” so you will have more ease in doing your cleaning operation.

How to make sure you reduce data errors in the future

Now that you have cleaned up your data, you need to establish a procedure to ensure that you keep your information up to date in the future.

It’s a good idea to standardize the way you enter your information into your CRM. If everyone agrees on what information to enter and how to enter it, you will have a much more uniform and easy to use database.

It is also important to predetermine who is responsible for this task. Since data cleansing is difficult and time consuming, it is advisable to assign it to more than one individual, a work team or even several departments, as this database is beneficial to all of them.

Creating a schedule that determines how often to perform this task is important to ensure that there is not too much time between cleanups and adding to the difficulty of performing it.  This task should be done, at a minimum, annually to ensure that the database can truly contribute to your company’s marketing initiatives and customer retention.

Questions to ask yourself

  • Does your company use databases or have data sources that you could leverage?   
  • Do you have pre-determined times to ensure your data is cleaned?  
  • Are your employees trained to keep it up to date?

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    Aita, T. (2020, June 23). How to Clean Up Your HubSpot CRM Data. Hubspot. Retrieved November 1, 2021. Online.

    Press, G. (2016, March 23). Cleaning Big Data: Most Time-Consuming, Least Enjoyable Data Science Task, Survey Says. Forbes. Retrieved November 1, 2021. Online.

    Sweary, R. (2019, April 12). The Death Of Dirty Data: The Importance Of Keeping Your Database Clean. Forbes. Retrieved November 1, 2021. Online.

    Elgabry, O. (2016, September 14). Database — Introduction (Part 1) – OmarElgabry’s Blog. Medium. Retrieved November 1, 2021. Online.

    Godin, C. (2021, July 7).À quoi sert un CRM?billy.socialRetrieved November 1, 2021. Online.

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    Caroline Godin

    Billy.Social Présidente et fondatrice

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