Data Cleansing (or Data Scrubbing) is the action of identifying and then removing or amending any data within a database that is:
And under the incoming GDPR changes:
This is usually done in a bulk process either regularly or as a one-off process using a technology with the relevant capabilities.
Data inevitably decays over time - with personal data, for example, you will have births, marriages, deaths and changes of address continuously happen. Therefore the process of data cleansing helps organisations keep their data up to date and removes the risks that out of date data is prone to cause.
By ensuring their data is always as accurate as possible, organisations are better placed to:
In addition to these, under the new General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR), Data Cleansing and proper Data Management in general, will become more essential. From May 2018, you will need to continually remove any data deemed unnecessary where elements such as Subject Access Requests and Data Breach notifications will require you to make contact with the data subjects in a limited timeframe – so accurate contact details are vital.
With Data Cleansing being important not just for business performance but also regulatory compliance, it is important to have a structured project to keep your data from decaying. The below are all important aspects to consider.