deep clean database

How to Deep Clean Your Database (And Keep It That Way!)

Kristen Handler

We LOVE data. And we know you guys do, too. Our subject line data webinar is our best attended event and our benchmark report is our single most downloaded resource. But those reports aren’t worth their salt unless they’re reliable. So how do we keep a clean database? Make it someone’s job, of course!

Perhaps the single most important aspect of my job is the cleanliness of our database. If you work in your organization’s database, you know it’s never a good look to send two copies of an email or use wrong personalization. Dirty data can be outright embarrassing! Here are some of the things I’ve found useful while deep cleaning my data (and keeping it that way).

Start with a DEEP Clean, including De-duplication

There are many tools out there compatible with various CRMs that will find your duplicate records and merge them (shout out to DemandTools – woohoo!). This may be an investment up front, but it could pay dividends in the future. Cleansing data manually takes time. And time is money. So crunch the numbers and see if you can’t spring for an automated program or data therapist. (Yes, a data therapist. It’s a real and beautiful thing!)

Don’t Lose the Forest for the Trees

What really helps motivate our team to do a deep clean of the database is the realization that every email we send depends on the correctness of our database. Every piece of content that we poured our blood, sweat, and tears into meant nothing if it wasn’t making its way to the right people. I keep this mantra top of mind while I work through hours of data cleansing.

Less is More

When I first held the power of the CRM Admin, I was hooked. I could create fields as we saw fit, write reports, add filter logic. But the more fields I created, the less confident I was in my data. I had cluttered areas that were no longer easy to navigate. So we got frugal with our layouts. We kept what we need and cut the rest. Every field you add is a field that needs to be maintained.

Process, Process, Process

We have a rule here at Informz: if it’s not in the database, it doesn’t exist. We are very lucky to have the great sales team that we do. They do a lot of work to update records as they learn of changes in employment, conversations they’ve had, or reasons why we won a prospect’s business. All of this helps us create the best reports when can.

Work as You Go

Once your data is deep cleaned, don’t forget to maintain it. As you go through your day-to-day, I’m sure there is the temptation to take shortcuts. But if you see dirty data, clean it on the spot. Trust me- you won’t go back at some magically un-busy time to clean up all the hundreds of little data points you’ve noticed these past few months. It takes time but your marketing depends on it!

As always, feel free to reach to us here on the marketing team with your data questions. We know your database is important to you and we want to help you keep it squeaky clean.

So I want to know – how do you deep clean your database? This data admin wants to know!

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About the Author
Kristen Handler

As the Marketing Assistant, Kristen is tasked with the maintenance of prospect and customer information, distributing inbound leads to the sales team, and assisting in tradeshow logistics. She is your typical INTJ, always seeking to make sense and order of two young children.