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THE DO'S AND DON'TS OF DATA PROCESSING

BY MATT CANN, HEAD OF DATA PROCESSING.

Data is the foundation on which effective marketing strategies are created, successful segmentation built or a CRM programs developed.

Key to all of this is effective data management. Every year more than 6 million people move house - will all your customers remember to tell you they have moved?

By cleansing your data on a regular basis you will reduce wastage, improve your ROI, protect your brand & comply with data regulations.

So, with that in mind:

DO

1. Cleanse your data regularly! The 4th principle of the data protection act commands: “Personal data shall be accurate and, where necessary, kept up to date”. Cleansing your data on a regular basis will help you comply with this.

There are production savings to be had – it’s more cost effective to manage your data correctly than attempting to communicate with individuals who aren’t there!

An estimated £144 million is wasted annually in the UK trying to communicate to individuals using inaccurate data.

The other big consideration is brand reputation - poor data management can generate very negative press. By regularly cleaning your data you can minimise this risk.

2. Ensure you’re utilising as many of the tools available to you as possible.  A home move doesn’t have to mean suppression: there are products available that are designed to keep you in touch with your customers/prospects/donors. Managed correctly they can be a very powerful tool. It’s always much more efficient to retain and manage your current customers/prospects/donors than to acquire new ones

3. Regularly review the processes & services that are applied to your data. In an ever changing landscape it’s easy to fall behind and miss the latest tools, services and ideas

4. Ensure your data matching criteria is appropriate for the ultimate goal. Refining match criteria and tailoring it for a specific outcome is a bit of an art.  It’s certainly not a case of one size fits all. It’s a balancing act that can take years to refine, over suppression can be just as negative as under suppression so it’s important to find the balance

DON'T

1. Fall into the trap of cleansing your data once & leaving it at that. Approximately 6 million people move home and 560,000 pass away every year in the UK. The only way to effectively manage your data is to cleanse it regularly

2. Over-suppress your data. Choose your suppression sources carefully. It’s important to check the level of validation done on the suppression sources you use, as over-suppression can be costly & difficult to undo

3. Assume that the preference services such as the MPS (Mailing Preference Service) & TPS (Telephone Preference Service) are not applicable to your data. The preference services are directly linked to consent and should be used where applicable

4 .Allow legacy and current database solutions to become out of sync. If you are in a transitional period it’s important to apply the flags across systems. If this is not done it could render your investment in data cleansing ineffective

If you’d lIke to discuss anything we’ve raised here feel free to get in touch. We’d love to hear from you.