Why Data Auditing is Essential
Data auditing is a pretty important subject when it comes to handling data.
While it may sound complicated from the offset, we’re here to break it down to the bare bones, so you’re not sent running to Wikipedia for an easier explanation.
What is Data Auditing?
Data auditing is the auditing of data to assess its quality or for a specific purpose. This involves profiling the data and identifying records that are incomplete, the person is no longer there (goneaway) on the MPS register (Mailing Preference Service) or worst still, deceased.
Why Do We Need to Audit?
Data auditing provides an assessment of whether your company or organisation is following an ethical and lawful data protection practice. This is essential, because not only can the audit show where you need to improve but knowing that your data auditing process follows the correct codes and conventions means there’s less chance of complaints from clients and you aren’t throwing money away by printing and mailing to people that don’t want it.
Why is Data Auditing So Important?
There are a few reasons why we carry out data auditing:
1. It Reduces Errors
According to Experian, human error and manual entry are the main causes of data inaccuracy, oops.
In fact, human error is the reason that companies can lose up to 12% of their revenue. The reason for this? Simple, lack of internal processes to check accuracy. It’s a hard slog doing it manually and it can take a long time, and within this time, people often get tired, stressed and for lack of a better word, sloppy!
Having your data audited will help you identify these inaccuracies such as incomplete addresses or incorrect postcodes, and prevent them by implementing new processes. The most common way this is done is by using data management software. This lets you know if your data is duplicate-free, accurate and consistent.
2. Maintain Compliance
If you’re not already acquainted with the GDPR, you might want to read our article here before jumping into this section. However, to summarise quickly, GDPR comes into force in May 2018 and will bolster data protection rules for businesses across the EU. If companies do not conform to the new guidelines, they’re likely to incur big fines, usually up to 4% of their global turnover.
If you’d like to avoid these fines, you might want to document the personal data you hold, where it came from and who you’re sharing it with. This will make you less likely to suffer a security breach, as no one wants that.
3. Improve Customer Service
We’ve all been there, stuck on the phone to a robot talking at us, giving us options that probably aren’t relevant to the problem we’re experiencing. Those issues can annoy people, and annoyed people usually leave poor reviews.
How will data auditing help you here? It allows you to view an audit trail of changes made to your customer’s data within seconds. This makes the process easier and faster, cutting out all that time spent on the phone.
What Happens after the Audit is Complete?
Following completion of the audit, we provide a comprehensive report along with an executive summary. The audit report details how many records have been identified and under what category e.g. movers, goneaways, deceased etc. with observations and recommendations by priority.
The audit itself is free and there is no obligation to take action. The costs come in when it comes to removing the records but the saving will always outweigh the cost of printing and mailing. After all - who would choose to send mail to a deceased person when they know that record could be removed?
Need a Crash Course in Data Auditing?
We know it’s a lot to take in, we get that! That’s why we’re here to help if you’re unsure of how you should act or what you should be doing with your data and best of all, the audit is free.
If you’d like a quick chat with one of our team, no problem, give us a call here. When it comes to data auditing and direct mail, there’s no such thing as a stupid question!
Written by Kristian Harrison, General Manager at The Mailing People. Kristian is an industry professional with over 20 years experience in Direct Mail and Fulfilment.