• Helen Pritchett

Are You Giving Your Data a Spring Clean?

Updated: May 9, 2019

Spring is the traditional time for having a tidy, removing clutter and generally giving your life a spring clean. These days you can even do a technology spring clean by having a digital detox. You might not want to go as far as doing a Marie Kondo, but it is a great time to reflect, review and revitalise your life.

The same principle can be applied to work. Ever tried to do a ‘Stop. Start. Continue’ exercise? It’s an annual review of your business strategy. You take a look back over the past 12 months and consider what’s worked and what hasn’t. This will lead you to making decisions on what should you stop, what should you start and what should you continue.

As part of this, why not take a look at your database and data strategy. Is it clean? Is it working? Is it suitable for the new GDPR and ePrivacy era? Is it time to cleanse and declutter the very thing that gives your marketing campaigns most impact?

When was the last time you reviewed your company’s data requirements? Are you still collecting, storing and processing data that is no longer used? Business and their processes evolve over time and so do their data requirements. Some data becomes obsolete, contacts move jobs, retire or go on maternity leave. Companies move offices or go into administration. Your data is an organic beast and it needs regular and ongoing cleansing to ensure it is accurate, clean and still meeting your needs.

As you undertake your data spring clean, here are some things you might want to consider (particularly in light of the GDPR era):

  • Do you need the data?

  • Is it required for a business-critical process?

  • Is the data current, accurate and up-to-date and good enough quality to use?

  • Is the data duplicated in any other database you manage?

  • Which version is more accurate or complete?

  • What can you store, share, delete? (And remember, legally, there is some data you need to keep for a certain length of time)

  • Are you working within current data protection legislation?

  • Have all contacts consented to their data being used or are you able to contact them under one of the 6 lawful bases of processing data under GDPR?

Carrying out this sort of data health check will not only help you with your GDPR compliance but it will also help your marketing efforts. You’ll uncover which areas of your database are lacking information or need updating. As a result, you’ll be able to identify which areas need enriching, updating, cleansing or re-categorising to give you the best bang for your marketing buck.

The bottom line is, it’s probably time to take stock. Take hold of your database and give it a good shake. Don’t fret … not all of it will fall out, in fact most of it will stick, and, with a little profiling and ongoing cleansing, will go on to provide good lead generation returns. What does fall out is probably worthless or out of date anyway, so good riddance!

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