Company information is continually subject to change. Annually, an average of 10 percent of these data are updated. A Graydon survey showed that no less than one quarter of the data that companies are using are not correct. Database management serves to manage these data. This concerns saving, securing, updating and supplementing the data, and making the data available. The intention is to quickly retrieve contact details and other information. Correct and full information also form an important basis for analysis and valuable new marketing insights. This Wiki tells you about the importance of database management, the three key process steps and the benefit of a master data file.
Why is database management important?
Data and adequate data management are increasingly a factor in the success of businesses. You need correct data to perform analyses, determine profiles and support policy choices. Otherwise, there is a risk of drawing the wrong conclusions or making the wrong decisions based on obsolete information.
Using high-quality data, the marketing department can enhance its knowledge of the customers. That knowledge can be used by marketers to improve the customer experience.
To Finance, correct customer data are vital to improving the accounts receivable and invoicing process. Incorrect or obsolete data result in inefficiency, higher costs and even dissatisfaction among customers.
Consequences of an unclean database
- Using the wrong title for a contact does not make a good impression. Your message may come across, but this sort of errors immediately dents your reputation.
- If the name or address of the recipient is incorrect, chances are that your message does not even arrive. This is a significant waste of money if you are sending expensive catalogues or brochures. The same applies when approaching business relations that no longer exist.
- An incorrect address also leads to lost time. Think of invoices or quotations arriving at the wrong address.
- Double records form a key source of database pollution. This is why it is important to use a uniform format for address details in accordance with the official street register. This serves to avoid sending prospects double mailings or catalogues.
- Up-to-date data are required to enable correct analyses and preparing an objective profile of your customers. Do you miss data, or do you base decisions on obsolete, incorrect information? You may then also miss links, draw erratic conclusions and make the wrong decisions.
Database management in three steps
- Updating and maintaining data. It is sensible to check the database for changes at least once a year, and to process such changes correctly in the central database.
- Data enrichment. The existing data of a company are the starting point. Missing data can be added to this database from external sources, for example credit rating data. A complete address database is the foundation of efficient policy.
- Automation. Changes and additions take place automatically if the database is linked to the databases of external specialist sources. This is a way to keep your database continuously up to date, preventing recontamination of your database.
Working with a master data file (master data management)
Where database management is about updating, maintaining and enrichment of the database, master data management takes it one step further. Master data are a unique key within a database. All these keys are saved to a central master data file and subsequently all databases of the company are linked to this master data file. If there are updates to the master data file, all databases are automatically updated accordingly. This promotes efficiency and decreases the risk of error.