CASE STUDY: Taming Wild Data

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    • Paul Kolars

    CASE STUDY: Taming Wild Data

    Updated: Dec 21, 2017

    We recently worked with a client with tons of data – just no way to make sense of it and leverage it for growth.


    They had thousands of data records scattered in 40 different databases. As you can imagine, each file we received was quite different. In fact, there were nearly 100 different data field names among these 40 files (many fields had similar information but they had different field names in each database).


    OUR GOAL: To get all that data into one clean file so they could see what they really had and use it to develop a comprehensive marketing strategy.


    We took the original 96 fields and organized them into 23 fields – a much more manageable number. As we standardized fields and streamlined the data, we discovered that 13% of the records were duplicates. Eliminating those duplicate records translated into immediate savings for the client. No more wasted marketing efforts and expense with those duplicate prospects.


    After collecting and standardizing the files, we began to diagnose the quality of the data.

    As part of this process, we ran email verification tests by “pinging” the email address to determine whether or not the email account was alive. For postal addresses, we tested and validated records using USPS software to confirm deliverability and correct addresses. Problems that were identified could be corrected.


    After email verification, postal verification and data field population content review, we found:

    • 22% of the original records needed to be eliminated due to duplication or unrepairable problems with the record

    • 15% of email addresses were invalid

    • 58% of postal addresses invalid or missing

    THE GREAT NEWS: We were able to fix, append, and update most of the records to make them usable. The client was delighted.


    They now had validated prospect records to begin a strategic marketing campaign. With their unified and clean database, they increased the efficiency and effectiveness of their marketing efforts. And, the buyer profiles provided a foundation for developing marketing personas for targeted efforts that make their customers and prospects feel like VIPs.