What is data cleansing?
Data cleansing – also known as data scrubbing and data cleaning – is the process of identifying errors in your data and then removing or amending those records which are either: incorrect, duplicate, incomplete, corrupted or formatted incorrectly. There are various data cleaning techniques, tools and softwares that can be used to achieve this.
How do we cleanse your data?
Data Health Check
The first step is to run a Health Check to give a clear understanding of the quality and quantity of the healthy and ‘dirty’ data within your database. This will also flag which of the data cleansing techniques would be most appropriate for you and your company to get the best results.
Our data cleansing service is always tailored to each customer. And our recommendations will only ever be to benefit and improve your data. We would never recommend or run unnecessary cleaning softwares on your data.
Deduplication, referred to as Dedupe, is the removal of records that share the same information & data with other records. It’s pretty common to have duplicate customer records in any database, typically caused by human error or data aggregation. During our data cleanse process, we will remove the duplicate records using complex algorithms. By removing the duplicate records, you will save money by not advertising or sending mailings to the same end user multiple times.
Clean incorrect or incomplete addresses
This intuitive data cleaning software instantly verifies the data and identifies incorrect or incomplete addresses. Flagged records are then uniquely matched where spellings, abbreviations and missing information appear and are amended and updated where possible.
PAF Data cleansing software
PAF is Royal Mail’s Postcode Address File which is a highly accurate database holding 1.8 million UK postcodes. The PAF file on average is updated anywhere between 4000-5000 times a day to ensure it is up to date with new addresses and amending existing ones.
PAF helps to improve the delivery of mail through database consistency, ensuring all addresses follow the same correct formatting.
Manual postcoding service
For addresses which still fail after all the above data cleaning has been completed – there is this further interactive, manual service that helps to correct the failed records. We understand the importance of your data and will take every step to ensure we only remove those that are absolutely necessary, so you have highest volume of healthy clean data available for your marketing campaign.
Additional Data Cleansing
On top of the address data cleaning service it is also possible to run your data past a variety of external files. We can screen your data against your chosen files to flag any further data records which could be harmful, or hold a possible reason to not mail.
The additional data suppression matching uses the following files:
National change of Address update (NCOA)
The NCOA update file is managed and sourced from Royal Mail’s redirection service. This is for when residents permanently redirect their mail and give their expressed permission for their data to be used in this service. This NCOA update file cannot be accessed directly through Royal Mail due to the sensitive nature of the data. To comply with the 1984 – 1998 Data Protection Act, it can only be accessed through recruited data management bureaus, which is where we are able to assist you.
Ideal for: Keeping in contact with your best current or lapsed customer without the customer needing to action anything further.
National change of address suppression (NCOA)
The NCOA suppression file is provided and fully verified by Royal Mail Redirection Service. The file is updated on a monthly basis by an estimated 100,000 records.
The difference between the NCOA update and NCOA suppression is that the update file will provide the changes of address where possible. Whereas the NCOA suppression file will flag recipients who no longer reside at the address in your database.
Ideal for: Cleaning your data of those who you will never reach, avoiding harming your brand being seen as a nuisance to those who newly reside there.
The Goneaway suppression file (GAS)
The Goneaway suppression file works in a similar way to the NCOA suppression file, except the GAS is sourced from multiple trusted sources. Helping to identify a wide range of records that have relocated addresses. The GAS suppression file is considered amongst data analysts and marketers to be one of the most reputable & reliable suppression files available.
Ideal for: Weeding out and removing further records which will never reach the intended recipient helping to reduce costs and keep your data clean.
The National Deceased Register (NDR)
The National Deceased Register is a comprehensive and accurate deceased identification file for the UK. The NDR file has 90% of all UK deaths since 1995. What makes the NDR file different to others is how the data is obtained from a variety of financial services who have to ensure their records are kept up to date for their own due diligence process.
Ideal for: Anyone who has any UK data in their database to remove the chance of upsetting the bereaved relatives unnecessarily, wasting budget and damaging your brand.
Mortascreen sources its data from 4 main sources of verified data: Governmental information (Probate), Funeral data, Insurance data & Registration forms. Covering 95% of UK deaths including channel islands and the Isle of man. There are no presumed/assumed deaths within the Mortascreen data from inactive accounts; they are all verified.
Ideal for: All databases that contain any UK data to ensure a thorough data scrubbing and potential campaign savings.
Purity is a trusted multi-sourced suppression file that flags deceased, goneaway and complainer records. The file deliberately excludes postal returns to remove the chance of over suppressing your database. The records they gather are then updated quarterly.
Ideal for: Removing goneaway records in particular without over suppressing your data.
Mailing Preference services (MPS)
The Mailing Preference Services is a free UK service. The list holds records of individuals who have expressed they would not want to receive any direct mail. This could be for numerous reasons: receiving previous occupants mail, bereavement, avoiding junk mail etc. Once someone has expressed their preference it can take 2-4 months to see the effect.
Ideal for: Avoiding spending valuable budget on those customers who are not likely to interact, respond or engage with your direct mail. Negates harming your brand and keeping optimum ROI levels.
Why is data cleansing important to the growth of your business?
Data drives business decisions. The first pitfall for any business to experience is for any decision to be based on bad data. This is why data cleansing is so important to businesses particularly in marketing. Data cleaning can unlock your datas’ full potential, giving clear results, feedback, analysis and data driven decisions for the next logical step to success.
What are the benefits of data cleansing?
- Increase productivity
Don’t waste valuable resources on reaching customers who have moved in, passed away, or don’t want to be reached.
- Stronger decision making
Avoid guesswork to drive your decisions and go from data driven decision making. By having clean data to start off with you can judge your efforts clearly and consistently.
- Removes errors
Moving home and bereavement can be incredibly hard stressful times, where people’s mail or updating databases isn’t at the top of the priorities. Use data cleaning to correct these as well as spellings, typos and human errors.
- Saves money & Reduces Waste
Remove the bad data so you only use the good data, allowing you to save money and reduce extra waste on mailings which will never be interacted with.
- Protect brand reputation
Avoid your brand ever being perceived as a nuisance or spam. Ensure optimum brand engagement and customer delight when your mailpack lands on their doorstep.
- Improve customer acquisition
Reaching more customers will help achieve your customer acquisition. Your data will give a clearer picture of your campaigns true success by removing the bad data that will skew you results.