How Clean Is Your Database?
Companies increasingly are placing a high priority on database marketing initiatives. According to the report “In Search of a Single Version of Truth: Strategies for Consolidating Analytic Silos,” released by The Data Warehousing Institute (TDWI) last summer, consolidation continues to remain a top project for businesses. Driving this urge to merge is the “need for consistent data across the enterprise,” as noted by 90 percent of the respondents to TDWI’s survey. Respondents also reported that only about one-third of all the data structures in their enterprise were consolidated.
What’s the stumbling block? The TDWI report points to disagreement between company departments on “terms and definitions governing data in the new, consolidated environment.”
Further, a research briefing published last year by Gartner predicted limited or full failure of more than 50 percent of data warehouse projects companies are undertaking, citing the lack of attention to data quality issues as the reason for these flops.
“Many enterprises fail to recognize that they have an issue with data quality. They focus only on identifying, extracting and loading data to the data warehouse, but do not take the time to assess quality,” said Ted Friedman, principal analyst at Gartner. “Consistency and accuracy of data is critical to success with [business intelligence], and data quality must be viewed as a business issue and responsibility, not just an IT problem.”
To help you get an idea of where your company stands on the data quality issue—and thus, the future success of your database-oriented initiatives—Target Marketing turned to leading analytics and database marketing experts to pin down some benchmarks and best practices for keeping your database a lean, mean fighting machine.
Take the test, and see how much or how little work you have to do.
To take this test, circle one answer for each question, based on the response that best represents the schedule you follow for database maintenance. Of course, not every set of possible answers will offer you a selection that fits your practices exactly. For the purpose of this exercise, just get as close as you can. Look below to see if your customary methods meet industry best practices for keeping your records accurate and deliverable, as well as remaining compliant with privacy laws.