Data Cleansing

What is Data Cleansing?

Data cleansing is the act of detecting and removing and/or correcting a database’s dirty data (i.e., data that is incorrect, out-of-date, redundant, incomplete, or formatted incorrectly).

Databases can be created from a plethora of sources; legacy systems, web sites, call centres, promotions, exhibitions or an amalgamation of multiple data sources. With so many disparate sources it is difficult to maintain data integrity. Data can appear in the wrong fields, suffer incorrect casing and name splitting and include erroneous characters. In the worst cases there is a real danger that processes used to merge data can cause data misalignment, placing a contact at the wrong establishment.

Once a database is established, the myriad of possible touch points that each system now seems to have will only exacerbate the situation.

Data Cleansing Solutions

Data problems should be tackled in a holistic fashion, with key milestones planned and the steps repeated on a regular basis.

Step 1 (normalization):

It is essential to ensure that data across the whole system is standardized. Without a common format, any other process you perform will be less successful. helpIT products can ensure that all your data is consistent. matchIT in particular has comprehensive quality assurance reporting which will highlight inconsistencies in your data for further investigation.

Step 2 (deduplication):

If you wish to merge disparate data sets then it is essential to use a matching tool that will provide 'phonetic' and ‘fuzzy matching’. helpIT products use powerful proprietary phonetic matching which ensures that all significant elements of each name and address are considered in the matching process.

Step 3 (data accuracy):

Once your data is in a good state of health, you should ascertain the proportion of the data which is still valid. This can be performed using a mixture of address checking (helpIT's addressIT product) and data suppression (helpIT's suppressIT product).

Data suppression will ensure that you avoid marketing to people who have moved address or died. You will also save considerable cost in not marketing to individuals or organisations who will simply never respond, whilst protecting your brand image from the harm of marketing inappropriately.

Step 4 (data enhancement):

Successful marketing is all about presenting the right product to the right people in the right place at the right time at the right price. Data enhancement (helpIT's addressIT product) allows you to append valuable information to your data which provides the insight required for successful marketing.

Assessing how helpIT products can assist you with Data Cleansing

You can try dedupeIT on your own data and assess the power of fuzzy and phonetic matching first hand, simply click here.

If your database has more than 50,000 records then we recommend you trial matchIT by simply clicking here.


For more about deduplication:         Deduplication

See our comprehensive range of other professional data cleansing software products at