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Best Practices for Good Data Hygiene

Your digital marketing efforts are only as effective as your data allows them to be. As the amount of the data you use inevitably increases over time, it will become more essential to keep that data clean at all times, not just during audits.

A shocking 45 percent of marketers admit to not trusting their databases, citing that they believe there are at least some inaccuracies in their data sets because they don’t validate the accuracy of their data.

When your data is inaccurate, your entire digital marketing strategy is thrown off. That’s why it’s critical to maintain proper data hygiene between database audits.

What is Data Hygiene?

Before we dive into telling you how to maintain good data hygiene, let’s talk about what data hygiene is and why you should care so much about it.

Data hygiene refers to how an organization manages its data. When we talk about data hygiene, we’re talking about two categories – dirty data and clean data.

Dirty data doesn’t have any organization. It can become cluttered or duplicated. In time, it becomes irrelevant because it doesn’t have any apparent reason to be there. Unfortunately, dirty data will stick around and be in your way if you don’t get rid of it.

Clean data, on the other hand, is data that has been sorted through and organized. It is up-to-date and easy to access.

You want to get to a point where you only work with clean data. And practicing good data hygiene is the only way to get there.

Data Hygiene Best Practices

The good news is that cleaning data is not overly complicated. The key is to work it into your process and workflow to avoid getting a backup of dirty data that gets in the way of the data you want to use.

Here are some data hygiene best practices for today’s digital marketers.

  1. Perform regular data audits

You won’t be able to separate your clean data from your dirty data without an audit. During an audit, you’ll identify data that are clogging up your process so you can get rid of it. The first time you do a data audit, it might take a while, especially if you have a lot of dirty data. However, your regular data audits will become faster and more manageable over time.

  1. Identify duplicates

You likely have duplicate data that takes up unnecessary space in your database. Part of the auditing process should include quickly identifying duplicate data so you can eliminate it and free up more space for valuable data.

  1. Get rid of (and stop asking for) data you don’t need

There is such a thing as too much data. Before you begin an audit, clarify what type of data you do and don’t need. If you have a lot of useless data, identify where that data is coming from. For example, perhaps you can change the questions you ask clients, so you only get the information you need.

  1. Keep updating data

Customer data changes all the time. People switch locations, change phone numbers, or update their email addresses. So, you’ll need to frequently update your data to ensure your database has the most accurate information possible for your contacts.

  1. Find a healthcare data partner

Cleaning any data takes considerable time and effort. For healthcare, though, there are additional considerations, including HIPPA. So, to ensure that your data is as clean as possible, consider partnering with a company that can manage your data for you while maintaining HIPPA compliance.

Trust HealthLink Dimensions to Clean Your Data

Are you ready to get a clear picture of the health of your healthcare provider databases and lists? Get started with a free healthcare data check from HealthLink Dimensions. We’ll compare your data to our master dataset and give you insights into the gaps and opportunities to append corrections.  Contact us to learn more.

 

 

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