British mathematician and entrepreneur Clive Humby once quipped, “Data is the new oil.” And how this statement holds true, even in 2022!
Like oil, data is valuable, sought-after, and serves as the fuel to accelerate the success of countless marketing campaigns. Neither data nor oil can be used in their crude form. To be actionable, data needs to undergo a refinement process that includes cleansing, validation, and, most importantly, data verification.
What is Data Verification and Why Do You Need It?
Simply put, data verification is the process of checking raw data for accuracy, consistency, and completeness against a reliable data repository.
Companies collect customer data through various methods. Before this data can make its way to the data warehouse, it needs to be verified to ensure that it is correct and complete. Without a verification system in place, your customer database will be rife with spelling errors, garbage values, inaccurate numbers, and incomplete data fields. This will jeopardize the quality of customer data and hamper your marketing campaigns.
Here’s an example. Suppose you collect customer emails from digital channels like lead forms on your website, pre-purchase forms, and other sign-up forms. Apart from these, you also gather emails from physical feedback forms. Now, it may happen that some of these emails are invalid because of spelling errors, do not belong to the person who filled the form, or do not follow the structure of a valid email address. If you use them as they are in your marketing campaigns, you will end up with:
- Undelivered emails
- Lost emails
- Spam reports and bad sender reputation
You can avoid these pitfalls and more by implementing a robust data verification system. Let us now explore the data verification process.
How to Ensure Your Data is Verified and Actionable?
You can go for automated or manual data verification methods right at the data acquisition stage. Unfortunately, manual methods are time-consuming and can even introduce more errors in the data. As for automated methods, you can only achieve little success. For example, you can set up an automated system to check if emails are in the proper format or test them by pinging them to get a response. However, even if the email is valid and exists, you have no way of knowing if the recipient is the owner of that email address or if they are still actively using that email.
One of the most efficient ways to get your customer data verified is by availing of data verification services from a trusted third-party data vendor who has a reliable and comprehensive data repository of verified records.
Data Verification Steps
Data verification involves three steps:
- First, determine the data sample. It is always better to check a small sample of your data before checking your entire database.
- Next, verify the selected dataset against an authentic database. This is the most crucial of all data verification stages because, at this point, you will get rid of:
- Inaccurate data
- Empty fields
- Outdated data
- Ill-formatted data
- Garbage values
3. Finally, check if all the data is in the correct format before you store it in your new database.
The Bottom Line
Having access to verified data allows you to run marketing campaigns more confidently. You can rest assured that your emails will be delivered, your marketing messages will hit the right target, and you can make the most out of your data-driven marketing efforts.
Over time, a simple data verification process can enable you to achieve your business goals faster, boost sales, and increase revenue. So, if you are still on the fence about verifying your customer database, this is the right time to do it.