How data cleaning tech can reduce inflationary pressures

By Barley Laing, UK Managing Director, Melissa
With soaring inflation, it’s time for those in tech to recognise the benefits of data cleaning technology to help mitigate inflationary pressures

Inflation is hovering at around 10%, triggered largely by the growth in energy prices due to the conflict in Ukraine. As a result, costs for many businesses are spiralling at a rapid rate, leaving them worried about their future.

Numerous organisations are considering making some tough decisions regarding their outgoings to remain competitive. However, before making any big cuts have they thought through improvements they can make in their back office using the appropriate technology?

This is where the technology department comes in. It has a vital role to play in helping their organisation to successfully identify ways technology can be used to save money and improve performance to ensure they remain competitive during these inflationary times. This is particularly the case when it comes to technology that ensures the delivery of accurate customer data, because of the value it provides in reducing inflationary pressures.

Data quality issues

Unfortunately, 91% of organisations have common data quality problems, which is perhaps not surprising when customer contact data degrades at around 25% a year without regular intervention. Also, 20% of addresses entered online contain errors, such as spelling mistakes, wrong house numbers, or incorrect postcodes, primarily caused by people mistyping their details via their mobile devices.

This results in inaccurately targeted communications and deliveries, meaning precious budgets are wasted, which leads to a poor customer experience, thereby impacting on retention. Also, any learnings from inaccurate data will be incorrect. And, significantly, having incorrect data encourages fraud.

Those in the technology sector need to understand the implications of having inaccurate customer data. They must use technology that ensures contact data is not only collected accurately at the customer onboarding stage, but regularly checks, cleans and enhances held customer data. This will have a big impact on their organisation’s bottom line and help to mitigate the inflationary pressures they are under. However, for it to be effective it’s important to ensure the technology used has access to billions of up-to-date global consumer records from reputable third parties, such as government agencies, credit agencies and utility companies.

Address autocomplete

A good place to start is to use an address autocomplete or lookup service which enables address validation – something that also helps to deliver ID verification. This tool can gather accurate address data in real-time at the onboarding stage by providing a properly formatted, correct address as the user begins to input theirs. It also enables the delivery of a standout service by reducing the number of keystrokes required, by up to 81%, when typing an address. This speeds up the onboarding process and reduces the probability of the user not completing a purchase.

Deduplicate data with an advanced fuzzy match tool

Deduplicate costly duplicate data. Duplicate data is commonly caused when two departments merge their data, or data has been collected via different touchpoints then not checked for duplicates or mistakes over a long period. Duplicate data is both costly monetary wise and in reputation. It adds cost in terms of time and money, particularly with duplicate printed communications, the distribution of which can also adversely impact on the sender’s reputation. The recipients will see this as a waste of money and resources at what is a challenging time. To prevent this, source an advanced fuzzy matching tool to deduplicate data and create a unified record for customers. It’s something that will also reduce the potential for fraud.

Data cleansing

Undertaking data suppression, or cleansing, will help organisations to save money and protect their reputation. It will highlight those who have moved - commonly called goneaways - or are otherwise no longer at the address on your database. In addition, suppression services that include deceased flagging ensures mail and other communications are not sent to those who have passed away, upsetting their friends and relatives.

SaaS data cleaning platform

It’s never been easier or more cost-effective to manage data quality in real-time. Today, it’s possible to pay for a licence to access a scalable data cleaning software as a service (SaaS) platform that requires no code, integration or training. Simply plug in and benefit, immediately. This technology instantly cleanses and corrects names, addresses, email addresses, and telephone numbers worldwide. It matches records in real-time, ensuring there is no duplication, and delivers data profiling to help identify issues for further action.

With inflation not coming down significantly anytime soon, now is the time for those working in tech to ensure their organisation’s customer data is cleaned on an ongoing basis, using technology which has access to billions of contemporary global consumer records. Only then will it be possible to improve customer communications, deliveries and overall experience, which in turn will drive customer revenue, and avoid fraud. This way data cleaning technology will play a big role in offsetting increased costs in other areas of the business, helping organisations to remain competitive and profitable during these challenging times.

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