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Data Hygiene: Five Ways You Can Do It Best

Precise data is exquisite to your business. However, in nature, B2B database is highly dynamic and thus degrades apace. A bad or outdated data harms the sales performance of your organization ruthlessly.

To solve, all you need is to maintain its hygiene -- a comprehensive process that needs to be followed systematically. From detection of inaccuracies to data appending, data hygiene is an actionable plan that demands consistency.

Is aging data hurting your marketing and sales goals?

If yes, you certainly need to clean it up! Data hygiene refers to cleaning-up or appending your B2B database aiming at removing or updating lapsed or outdated contacts. As data hygiene is not a new term, marketers of all-sized businesses accept its relevance unarguably.

However, how to cut the scrap out of a database, often, becomes troublesome for many marketers. Data cleansing initiatives fall in tune only if its hygiene plans and execution fall in place with the goals and expectations of your business.

Here I have summed up some ways you need to know before implementing data hygiene in your strategy:

1. The Detect Plan

You can’t clean anything if you are clueless of what to discard and what to keep. Same is with your data.

Begin with auditing all the customer databases. Create a set of validation rules to standardize your B2B database and develop a Detect Plan to determine the data discrepancies and errors.

Rely on specific statistical methods of analysis and identify the inaccuracies that might comprise of the duplicity of contacts, domain errors, expired addresses, spelling-flaws (yes it matters!) or incomplete data.

As it is an inclusive process, the impact will go beyond your sales team reaching other departments too. So, using the collaborative intelligence of your team can simplify the process.

2. The Correction Plan

Once the loopholes are ascertained, commence with the second step- The Correction Plan. The standardized validation rules need to be integrated more comprehensively at this phase.

B2B customer data degrades apace and thus keeping it up-to-date becomes a strenuous job. To untangle, all you need is to define your records as per data type and then to remove duplicate contacts accordingly.

Eliminating duplicates is critical to the data clean-up as sending multiple messages or emails to the same organization can take you to the spam folders your readers.

Once you have brushed-out the duplicates, pick-up the lapsed contacts. These expired records are like dead leads that eat out the time of your sales team unnecessarily.

Move towards editing misspelled contacts as messages sent to wrong names are not going to reach your targets and even if they do, they are definitely going to annoy them.

3. The Verification Plan

To ensure the accuracy of the first two steps, verification becomes imperative. Invest in data tools and verify that the edited records are error-free and precise. Make sure the data that has come out battles the challenges and goals of your business. Validate it and edit it again, if required.

4. The Automation Plan

Maintaining data hygiene is not a one-day job, it demands consistency.

Go for automated cleansing. Create a systematize workflow to cleanse the data on a weekly or monthly basis. Prepare a calendar and stick to it. Appoint certain team/teams to work on it without missing a schedule.

This automation can be applied to old as well as newly entered records.

5. The Append-Plan

Regardless of how better you cleanse your customer database, you might skip the tails. Data appending serve as helping hand here, especially for the records that do not come in the reach of automation.

Opt for some reliable third-party sources that can append your data. Going for appending-data can benefit your business goals by providing you complete information that you might skip.

 #Bonus Tip – Legal Consent

Confirm that the data you are supposed to use does not surpass the rules laid down to safeguard business-people and individuals against un-welcomed emails or messages.

The database is exquisite to your business. Make sure you maintain its hygiene!