With so much member data and contact information within a company’s database, it’s important to keep up with data cleaning. When it comes to communicating with your constituents, it’s necessary to have the most up-to-date info.
You don’t want people receiving messages that don’t pertain to them. For example, if a person has somebody’s old phone number that used to be in your system. Now they’re receiving communications that are completely irrelevant. Or if someone used to be a part of your organization but now they’re no longer there. They could get frustrated with continually receiving messages from a company they are no longer associated with.
At High Ground Solutions, we want to encourage you to keep your data up to date. Not only could you be messaging the wrong audience, but additionally, your Cast product billing is dependent on how many users you are messaging. This means you could be spending more money to message people who aren’t even receiving your communications.
What is Data Cleaning?
Data cleaning is the process of identifying errors within your data and then correcting, updating, or deleting them. You can also manually process the data as needed to prevent similar errors from occurring.
Practices to Clean Up Data
1. Standardize Processes
Your organization should have a standard process when it comes to collecting and removing a user’s contact information. Having a streamlined process will help to eliminate errors and duplicates.
- Data Collection
Having a system in place for collecting data is crucial. One data entry error could include an entry without uniform protocols, which could easily lead to errors in your database. For example, when phone numbers are entered into the system, they should be in the same format.
A standardized data-entry process will help reduce the risk of duplication from the onset. When you collect data from multiple places, it is likely to cause duplicates. Be sure to remove duplicate phone numbers or contacts from your mass messaging system to avoid sending unnecessary texts or emails. Merge any data discrepancies, like Mrs vs. Mrs., for example, which could have accidentally created two separate entries for the same contact.
- Remove Former Users
Create a sort of “offboarding” process when people or clients leave your company. Remove users from the database when they are no longer a part of the organization. This will reduce the number of messages sent to people who do not wish to receive communication from your company.
- Data Collection
2. Update data
There are many ways you can update your contacts’ data. Review your email unsubscribes or SMS opt-outs. Observe any patterns as to why people are choosing to not receive communications from your organization.
With HGS, you can email a new import excel file to our support team, or if your system has the capability, you can import a new excel file yourself. Additionally, you can go to your users and remove those you know are no longer a part of your account.
3. Periodically Review Your Data
We recommend updating–or checking–your data seasonally, at the very least, twice a year. Set aside dedicated time for cleaning up your database. If you don’t create time to do a review, it will likely not happen. This can lead to even more outdated information.
4. Update With Accurate information
We also suggest making sure that the information that you’ve added to the system is accurate for each of your users. So not just checking that there are no duplicate users but ensuring that current clients have their accurate information included in their profile.
Save your team time by asking members to update their own records. This can be done through a form or you could have them submit updated information by replying to an email or text message. Giving users access to edit their own data can significantly relieve your team of the need to manually verify data while maintaining your database.
Along with accurate data comes the responsibility to update missing data. If it’s missing, it is not accurate. So when you’re reviewing records, be sure to input the information that is missing. For example, maybe somebody’s email is in the record but their phone number is missing. Be sure to add in whatever you can to make a complete profile.
Check out the video below to learn more about updating your data and why it’s important. You’ll also learn about making sure that you’re TCPA Compliant.
Data Cleaning for Your Organization
Whatever industry you’re in, whether education, ministerial, or corporate, it’s important to keep your contact data information up to date. For questions about updating your data, email or chat with our support team! We’re always here to help.
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