5 Steps to Prevent Data Append Mistakes
When you want to enhance your customer data for targeted marketing or analytical purposes, approach it as a very important process. A data append mistake will make anything you do with that customer data inaccurate. There are several best practices you can follow to maximize the data append process by getting the right data, improving the match rate of third party customer data, and having it come out in a format that you will be able to use successfully and immediately.
First, decide how you want to use your own data after you add the appended information. Then clean it and standardize your records. Make sure your file complies with privacy and financial security policies. Pick the information you want to use to enhance your file, run the matching process and validate the results.
1. Understand the Data You Have Now
Firms that use order entry and shipping software as their customer collection tools will accumulate several types of data. They will have order records with names, addresses, phone numbers, e-mail addresses and payment information. They can also have billing records and shipping records with different names and addresses from each other and from the order records.
Look at the types of customer information you have and decide which type you will use for enhancement. Order records are most likely the best because they refer back to your customers, and not gift recipients or receiving warehouses.
2. Clean and Repair Your Own Data
Stick to more recent customers, no more than 36 or 48 months old—do you really want to spend money enhancing the records of customers who haven’t bought from you in years? You can standardize your file yourself with postal and data hygiene software or send it out for cleaning. You want first and last names, first and second address lines, states, Zip codes and phone numbers in their proper fields with the same formatting you would use for mailing.