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Tips for cleaning up data quality

Contrary to the buzz that currently surrounds big data, not all content is created equally. There is good and bad information. To ensure companies are using the former, they may need to check the accuracy of their data through email verification and other processes that eliminates outdated entries, according to the Nonprofit Quarterly.

"Data is the DNA and the lifeblood of organizations," Shannon Duffy, marketing vice president for Salesforce.com's Data.com business unit, told the source. "Yet it's something that all organizations have a challenge updating and maintaining, regardless of whether they are a Fortune 500 company or a small nonprofit."

Data quality audits will check for duplicate entries, old contacts, opt-out requests and decayed contact data, the news outlet explains. In fact, it's estimated that over the course of four years, around 30 to 40 percent of names and addresses stored in databases will become invalid because customers move or change their names, among other reasons.

A post for Knowledge Integrity gives a scenario explaining how this happens. When a resident lived in a neighborhood in Boston during the early 2000s, the neighborhood's zip code was 02146. After the person moved away, the city added a new zip code to reflect expansion and half of the community then uses a new number, 02446. If organizations don't know to update this information, they may waste resources sending materials to the old address.