Does data entry cause you problems? Is it possible to extract the information you need without manual workarounds? Can you segment data easily? 

According to Experian, when it comes to data inaccuracy human error, in particular spelling mistakes, is one of the most common challenges businesses face. Something as simple as the formatting of acronyms can present problems – for example FD, F D, F.D or FD. – and can make segmenting and reporting on data frustrating and time consuming.

Here we explain the issue and share tips to overcome it…

Free type fields – horrible or handy?

Even though most businesses recognise the importance of data quality in building profitable customer relationships, our unique study highlights 79 per cent face data quality challenges. Many of those issues occur at the point of data entry when employees free type data into fields.

The below example illustrates the issue, showing the variances for an ethnicity field. As a result, it would be difficult to a dynamic list in the database in which it is held for customers who are of Philippine origin, for instance.

 

The problem is further amplified with the number of entries and the volume of data. Therefore, if you want to be able to interrogate your data with ease it is important to consider setting standards.

Picklists to the rescue

Without a data management strategy and enforced standards, it is difficult to get reliable information from your business systems. As suggested in our blog, to aid data entry you should consider using mandatory fields and picklists in your database to ensure the right information is recorded, in the right format to reduce human error.

Picklists will help you control the values a user can enter and avoid any typos or incorrect entries. They will reduce the time and effort it takes for users to complete information and by controlling the available choices, improving the quality of your data, making reporting and searching much more reliable.

The below is a suggested picklist to improve the ethnicity example above:

Picklists can be used for a variety of fields – such as job titles, marital status, products used and more. Below is the example illustrating the use of picklists in the job title field:

How can data segmentation help?

Recent research into the importance of segmentation to building profitable customer relationships shows that one out of four customers removes an email, simply because the message didn’t seem relevant enough to them personally. Therefore, forcing users to enter values in a specific way will standardise you data so you can use it more effectively.

According to Lyris Annual Email Optimizer Report, 39 per cent of marketers who segmented data experienced higher open rates, 28 per cent experienced lower unsubscribe rates, and 24 per cent reported better deliverability and greater revenue. Those figures speak for themselves!

 

Having data issues?

Data inaccuracies can make segmenting and reporting on data frustrating and time consuming.

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