5 Steps to Avoiding Bad Data

Today’s data marketplace is full of bad information. Here are 5 steps you can take to protect your brand from it.

Bad data is a major problem for any industry, but it is especially a challenge for marketers. If you use expired or inaccurate data in a campaign, the time and money spent on those efforts are all for naught. Marketers waste an average of 21% of their marketing budgets solely because of bad data.

Modern consumers want personalized experiences, and they want to be able to move across their devices and see consistent messaging from brands. You can’t reach these consumers, or give them what they want, without accurate, up-to-the-second data.

Customer data is fraught with inaccurate information. One Deloitte survey showed that two-thirds of respondents said third-party data about them was, on the whole, only 0% to 50% accurate. So, ensuring you only have good data in your marketing campaigns will not only save money but also help you satisfy audiences and connect with consumers.

Here are five steps to avoid using bad data in your marketing campaigns.

1. Segment the data

First, make sure you have processes in place to categorize your data into segments. Group certain types of data together according to consumers’ behaviors, interests, and preferences. Depending on your industry, consider segmenting data into groups like:

  • Online behavioral data: clicks, opens, and numbers of sessions
  • Transactional data: order history and cart behavior
  • Demographics: gender, age, and location

Segmenting data helps ensure quality by giving you less information to analyze, update, and compare at a time. You can use this segmented data to reach the right people, since you are better able to tailor messages to one audience at a time and make more personal connections.

2. Avoid data silos

Your organization is probably gathering data from multiple sources. Data can easily become redundant or conflicting, which both cause problems with quality. How do you know what’s accurate and which is the most up-to-date version of the data?

Instead, you need your data sources to work together. Store data in the same location to avoid duplicate information. Create processes that update or eliminate outdated data so it is no longer used in campaigns or even stored in your systems. For high-quality, accurate data, you need a single source of truth.

3. Monitor and clean data

To ensure you’re using accurate information, it’s also crucial to implement processes for monitoring and cleansing your data. This requires identifying and applying certain measures that help you verify the data before you use it. Keep track of known errors in your data so you can determine where it’s most likely to happen and any patterns that could cause inaccurate information. 

Cleaning also involves tracking how long data has been in the database so you can delete anything that’s outdated. Implement a solution like time stamps so you can speed up the process of cleaning and checking data. You’ll be able to delete duplicate records and keep only the most recent version of the information.

4. Create a data quality team

All of these moving parts have to work together, which is challenging when you don’t have a team dedicated specifically to data quality. Investing in these roles will likely save you money in the end, since bad data can be very costly. On average, bad data is costing businesses around 30% of their revenue.

Designate a team, or at least a team member, that focuses on monitoring, cleaning, updating, combining, and categorizing data so your processes and marketing approach are truly data-driven. Bringing a data quality team together also shows the rest of the organization how much you’re prioritizing obtaining and maintaining accurate information.

5. Use the right data sources

Finally, make sure you’re always using trustworthy data sources. Many data providers out there just don’t care about the quality of the data they’re selling, so you can end up with outdated or flat-out inaccurate customer information.

Instead, work with a data source you can trust. When you take advantage of data solutions from BDEX, you know you’re always getting quality. We collect and offer more user data than any other platform, with over a trillion data signals and 5,500 data categories.

We recognize just how prolific bad data is on the market. To counter it, we’ve taken numerous steps to identify bad data and filter it out from our platform. Additionally, with our BDEX ID Check, we ensure that all data in our identity graphic is high quality and accurate.

Contact BDEX to learn more about how we ensure data quality.