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Top Reasons for Duplicate Data (And 3 Techniques to Fix It)

April 12, 2013
By TowerData

DuplicateMore companies are exploring Big Data to deliver positive customer experiences across of multitude of channels, but before relying on Big Data for core business functions, companies must ensure the accuracy of that data by employing data hygiene. Without correct consumer information, businesses can waste resources, damage customer experience and hurt their ROI.

The recently released white paper “Data Quality and the Customer Experience” revealed a shocking 94 percent of businesses believe there is some level of inaccuracy within their data. Duplicate data has become one of the most common data quality errors for businesses.

The same white paper revealed 92 percent of organizations admit to having duplicate data. The cause of duplicate data errors range from human error to customers providing slightly different information at different points in time (i.e. – A consumer lists his name as Jonathan Smith on one form and Jon Smith on another).

Whatever the cause for duplicate data, it is essential businesses remove duplicates from their databases to achieve business goals. Three techniques businesses can use to remove existing duplicate records within their database include:

  1. Standardize contact data. Since contact information is typically found in every record, it can be used to help household information and identify duplicate contacts.
  2. Define the level of matching. Administrators should define the level of matching they want to accomplish and the tolerance level for what is considered a duplicate level. It’s vital for businesses to have a defined outline of what a single record means for the organization before beginning to merge records.
  3. Utilize software to identify duplicates. Once you’ve standardized data and defined your desired level of matching, use software to identify duplicates based on your defined criteria. Many small organizations still prefer manual review, but it’s recommended larger organizations use software to ensure duplicates are identified according to the given definitions.

While these steps can effectively remove duplicates from your list in the present, it’s important to explore services that will maintain your list’s accuracy over time. List cleaning services can minimize the impact of list decay, increase the size and quality of your file and deliver positive results to your bottom line.

Are you interested in learning more about list cleaning services? Contact TowerData today for your free trial!

photo credit: wlef70 via photopin cc

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