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5 Reasons Why You Should Tidy Up Your Data

Modern organizations understand that data is an asset and one of the key elements for long-term business growth. High-quality data guides marketing campaigns, drives effective sales cycles, empowers stakeholders, and leads companies toward meeting revenue goals. If your organization is focused on becoming more data-driven now and in the future, then quality business data and quality data collection must be at the center of these goals.

In this blog post, we’re sharing the five main reasons why you should clean up your data and how this is critical for clear analytics and business intelligence.

Why does clean data matter?

For many organizations, data is a source of several challenges ranging from costly data silos to incomplete data reports and even data corruption. Instead of providing quality and useful insights, this “dirty” data keeps teams from making the strategic decisions that propel organizations toward long-term success. Research demonstrates that bad data costs employees 27% of their workday and organizations $9.7 million on average each year. Even more alarming, B2B data decays at roughly 35% on average each year.

Clearly, the quality of data has a big impact on the business operations of organizations. From driving innovation to streamlining processes and reducing compliance risk, clean data has many benefits. So, why do businesses still struggle with data even when 90% of leaders know they must think critically about data collection, usage, and cleansing? Data cleansing can be time-consuming and expensive, which deters many organizations from taking the plunge. However, routine cleansing is necessary for any business looking to be data-driven and profitable.

The benefits of tidying up

Routine data cleansing not only improves the effectiveness of teams (like sales and marketing) but provides clear insights for stakeholders and executives. Overall, clean data benefits organizations for the following reasons.

Improve strategic decision-making

Simply put, bad data leads to bad decisions. Without complete and accurate data analysis, stakeholders won’t have the information they need to make informed decisions about the organization. These decisions are not always at the executive level either. Any department, from finance to sales to marketing to customer support, will struggle to make the right decisions if presented with dirty, incomplete data.

Clean data provides a strong foundation for strategic decision-making across departments. Clean, accurate, and complete data also means that stakeholders can make good decisions without bias or assumption. This complete understanding of where data comes from, how it’s managed, and its current state all help ensure that leaders can make proper decisions that drive an organization toward success.

Save time, costs, and resources

Duplicate or inaccurate data can eventually lead to inefficient and disorganized work processes across an entire organization. Dirty data makes it difficult to determine the right marketing strategies, wastes hours of employees’ workdays, and leads to guessing games in data analysis and reporting. All these issues eventually lead to costly losses in time, money, and resources. To fix this, teams may start investing in additional tools or software to declutter data or improve analytics, not all of which are as productive and cost-effective as they may seem. 

Data cleansing is cost-effective for virtually every department in an organization. Not only is clean data easier to analyze and leverage, but it also decreases time spent manually tracking down data or interpreting incomplete data. Clean data also ensures that outreach can be more targeted, with higher engagement and ROI, while reducing waste due to inaccuracies. Overall, clean data has been shown to save some organizations an average of $3.9 million a year.

💡Did you know? Customers of FormAssembly save 55 hours per week on manual data entry and $94,974 on average each year. Calculate your potential savings with our ROI Calculator.

Increase efficiency and productivity

Cluttered databases full of incomplete or disorganized data can lead to endless digging and tedious busywork for your team. Without clean data, it becomes increasingly challenging for employees to find the information they need as well as maintain accurate or up-to-date data on customers and prospects. Any incorrect data means that teams waste hours inputting, sorting, cleaning up, or otherwise manually fixing data instead of focusing on their work tasks.

“We recommend that our clients make data cleansing a routine part of their data maintenance processes,” says Ashley Goad, director of data and architecture at Fíonta, a FormAssembly partner. “Even if it seems tedious, setting aside time on a regular basis to look for duplicates, spot-check for consistency, and make sure that data is being ingested properly from outside sources can be a huge time- and money-saver in the long run.”

Data cleaning that removes duplicates, standardizes fields, and fixes incomplete or unformatted data all helps to eliminate the delays and loss of productivity. Your team will be able to focus on leveraging clean data rather than sifting through dirty, disorganized data. This will not only also boost team productivity and efficiency for tasks and projects, but ensure that projects are targeted and on track to meet your department and organizational goals.  

Minimize security and compliance risks

Security and compliance regulations involving consumer data, such as GDPR, HIPAA, and CCPA, come with heavy fines for non-compliant organizations. Unfortunately, dirty data increases compliance risk, especially when this data includes sensitive customer information. Without routine data cleaning and validation, organizations not only increase their risk of costly data breaches, but fines from these data regulations as well.

An important step toward data compliance is data cleansing. Clean data will improve data quality and data governance initiatives that all aid in staying compliant with regulations. Routine data cleansing also helps employees keep track of where sensitive personal data lives, making it easier to maintain accuracy and quality. By maintaining a quality data governance program and routine audits, organizations can save an average of $3 million annually.

Enhance customer experiences

No one ever wants to receive an email addressed to the wrong person or discover they have been subscribed to an email list without their knowledge. But this can happen if you have disorganized, inaccurate customer information in your database. While 99% of marketers agree that personalization is key to great experiences, inaccurate personalization can be harmful to both prospect and customer interactions.

Clean data helps prevent this erosion of the customer-business relationship. Routine data helps maintain accurate and up-to-date customer data so that all interactions remain timely, personalized, and targeted to their needs. Fewer customers will feel your communication is spam, your organization’s reputation remains stable, and you’ll receive better engagement from campaigns and advertising. 

Start with clean data collection

Data cleansing is no easy task and it will take time to get your current database organized, complete, and accurate. Once you have completed a comprehensive data cleanse and audit, it’s a good idea to leverage tools that help ensure data is clean as it enters your CRM. Using FormAssembly’s all-in-one data collection platform with powerful Salesforce integration, it’s easy to get accurate and updated data from web forms to your database with standardized objects and fields to maintain data integrity. Implementing our platform will simplify data cleaning in the future and keep data high-quality, so your team, no matter the department or goals, can leverage it strategically.

Learn more about tidying up your data in our blog post or webinar, 5 Reasons Why Your Data Needs a Spring Cleaning & How to Tidy Up

Don’t just collect data — leverage it.