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DQ Blog Data Quality How to Manage Your Business Data in 5 Easy Steps

How to Manage Your Business Data in 5 Easy Steps

Martin Doyle October 22nd, 2013 Data Quality, Master Data Management

Managing Your Business Data in 5 Quick Steps

We live in an era where companies rely heavily on the data they hold on customers. In this modern world we now find ourselves in, communicating effectively with customers and prospects is imperative to the success of any business.

Customer satisfaction is crucial, along with data governance and the requirements by law to hold customer data with care and confidentiality.

Companies have a duty to take care of the data they hold.

With effort and investment, raw data can be transformed into consistent, accurate and reliable corporate information. How does the business get to that stage? Using the five building blocks of data management technology.

In this article, we will look at the five elements of data management in order.

1. Data Profiling

Profiling data means inspecting it for flaws and signs that it could be out of date. Through inspection, you’ll detect errors, inconsistencies, redundancies and incomplete records.

At this stage, your data isn’t changed. The profiling stage is simply a ‘read only’ review of your data to see if action is required. In most cases, the business will find that its data is in need of repair.

2. Data Quality

The second stage involves acting on the first. Prompted by a data profiling exercise, the business can progress to improving the quality of data using data quality tools.

On a basic level, the business will need to correct any information containing errors, standardise records to create a robust dataset, and then verify the results to make sure the database serves its purpose.

3. Data Integration

Once the business has finished cleansing data, the data can be integrated. At this point, records are matched, merged or linked to create a more efficient set of records that support the employees and reduce confusion.

At this point, data can be drawn from a range of sources into one, and the records across all sources can be deduplicated and combined using data matching software.

4. Data Augmentation

The fourth stage of data management involves bringing in information from third party resources to improve the database. A good example is the use of the Royal Mail’s postcode database to check the quality of addresses for customers.

Using the Royal Mail database, businesses can quickly correct street names that have been misspelled, for example. The records can also be tidied up when postcodes are inaccurate or have been changed.

5. Data Monitoring

A clean database will inevitably age, and over time, its quality will suffer unless it is continually checked. The business needs to continually monitor its data to make sure it is still serving employees’ needs across the sales and support lifecycle.

Data is the foundation of every business decision, and being informed is the only way that businesses can survive and thrive in this modern world!


Written by Martin Doyle

Martin is CEO and founder of DQ Global, a Data Quality Software company based in the UK. With an engineering background, Martin previously ran a CRM Software business. He has gained a wealth of knowledge and experience over the years and has established himself as a Data Quality Improvement Evangelist and an industry expert.