For B2B data aggregators, maintaining data quality is a serious undertaking, and they devote a large portion of their best resources to keeping contact lists, profiles, products, customers, sales, demographics, and other data clean, correct, and up to date.
Validation of high-quality data acquired from many sources is essential, making data cleansing a necessary and continuing activity for data aggregators. The single greatest threat to big data is bad data, which displays itself in a variety of ways—for example, duplicate data and inaccuracies. It wreaks havoc on a company’s bottom line, costing them a whopping 12% of overall revenue.
So, if data is the lifeblood of marketing, how can you tell if it’s fit for purpose? What is the most effective method of B2B data cleansing?
Before you start cleaning your data, you should ask yourself two questions:
- What are my overall data cleanup objectives and expectations?
- How am I going to put these into action?
For most businesses, the overall goals for data cleansing are the benefits indicated, which are:
- Increases Customer Acquisition
- Boosts Sales and Revenue
- Improves Decision-Making
- Optimizes Productivity
In terms of the second question, it can be answered by following the data cleansing techniques listed below.
1. Developing a Data Quality Strategy
Creating a strategy is crucial for any project, and it applies to data cleansing as well. Many data aggregators are unsure how accurate their database is, therefore developing a data quality plan to set a realistic baseline of data hygiene is essential. Before static databases enter the system cleaning them in the backend, as well as cleansing real-time data streams, their destination and source, are some of the features that set the process apart.
Few tips for creating a data cleansing plan to keep your B2B database in good shape:
- Choosing a model and metrics and focusing on them.
- To track data health, create data quality key performance indicators (KPIs).
- Creating a plan for the initial data inspection.
- Performing rapid sample checks to detect problematic datasets.
- Creating filters to avoid data from being “over-cleaned.”
- Starting with data cleansing and mistake correction, validate the “clean data” before generating reports.
- After a comprehensive quality check, data is sent to the database.
- A plausibility analysis and a comparison of new data to previous sets are used to assess the overall quality of data.
2. Using RPA and AI-based Technologies to Manage Data Entry
The first and most important step is to identify the problem at its source before it enters the aggregator database. The move to real-time data has prompted the use of automated data cleaning. Except for outliers, when a careful judgment must be made, real-time data entry relies on automated purification via RPA, AI, and machine learning.
With real-time data, having data engineers and data scientists monitor incoming data streams, find mistakes, and repair issues with the help of automation before sending the data to the data warehouse is the best approach.
Even if the data is of excellent quality, entering real-time data into the database without sufficient and automatic checks and balances might result in a lack of synchronization in metrics and mistakes in fact tables.
3. Identifying and Analyzing Outliers
Outliers are unique cases in data cleansing that must be handled with caution. To prepare datasets for machine learning models and subsequent real-time or near-real-time automated data cleansing, outliers must first be detected, analyzed, and processed. Data visualization approaches and methodologies such as Z-Score (parametric); linear regression, proximity-based models, and others are commonly used to identify outliers.
Outliers in data are caused by:
- Instrument/system errors or human error
- Errors in data extraction or planning/execution.
- Errors in combining data from several sources or the wrong sources.
- Data that has undergone genuine modifications or is fresh.
It is always vital to deal with outliers and it is up to the model and the analyst who can decide what is to do with the data point whether an outlier should be taken as an irregularity. Data trimming can be used to remove extreme values. But it is a common practice to assess if it helps or hinders to cleanse if altering the outlier value to the one that fits the dataset.
4. Getting Rid of Duplicity
Data originates from a variety of sources, and any dataset may contain duplicates or incorrect information. Duplicate client records are a huge headache because they drive up your marketing costs. With the help of various data cleaning technologies that can automatically evaluate bulk raw data and indicate dupes, such records should be deleted totally from your database. Duplicate data can harm your brand’s reputation, ruin consumer interaction experiences, and lead to erroneous reporting.
However, Duplicate entries frequently contain unique data, such as the customer’s email address and his cell phone number. Duplicate data cannot be arbitrarily deleted, therefore.
Hence, merge databases from several sources, such as Excel, SQL Server, MySQL, and others, into a single structure. Identify duplicates then make use of advanced data-matching techniques to remove any data that is no longer needed.
In the merge/purge process, use complex data matching algorithms to verify that just one record is generated, maintaining all needed information and deleting duplicates.
5. Continually Analyzing Data Relevancy
Relevance analysis is critical for transforming data into usable knowledge. Constant data relevance analysis evaluates and categorizes information.
The following items are included in the relevance analysis:
- Developing intelligent systems for visual and numerical data quality measurements.
- To avoid incurring additional data storage costs, obsolete data should be removed.
- Assuring that data may be used.
6. Append Data
Append is a procedure that aids businesses in defining and filling in gaps in their data. One of the greatest ways to manage this activity is to use reputable third-party sources.
Depending on the countries, industries, or enterprises, the rate of data degradation could range from 30% to 70% per year. New offices are opening, firms are changing, takeovers and mergers are occurring, and so on. It’s critical to fill data gaps through cleansing and improving data quality. Empty fields or incorrect data must be checked and supplemented with precise and relevant data.
- Maintain a consistent schedule of data enrichment.
- Use technological partners to enrich data quickly and consistently.
- To augment your facts, use accurate and trustworthy sources.
7. Cleaning and Monitoring B2B Databases Regularly
Bounce rate is high, clicks are low, and conversions are much lower when data is bad. Invest your time and effort in automated data enrichment, verification, validation, de-duplication, and appending technologies. These checks and steps must be followed regularly, as even good data can become stale.