Keeping Your Contact Data Clean Checklist

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At DataWand.com we have wizards that deal with data all day long – formatting it, cleaning it up, validating it etc.. so we thought we would write a checklist for individuals and businesses about how to keep your contact data clean. For this checklist we have focused on the core communication information – names, emails, addresses and telephone contact numbers and how you would manually keep them clean. And in case you are wondering… Yes, we can do all this and more for you at DataWand.com using a set of software tools that we’ve specifically developed to make those tedious data cleansing tasks easy.

Retain data quality by making sure that you have the correct automated and manual processes and procedures in place:

  • Ensure that a clear set of data standard instructions are defined and exist on how data is to be stored e.g. postcode to be stored without whitespace
  • Encourage your staff to check and update a customer’s data each time they are in contact with them
  • Validate all data entry points before saving new data or when updating existing data
  • Invite your customers to maintain their own data via a secure web portal
  • To reduce data entry errors, use drop-down lists in forms as much as possible

Cleaning up names

  • Split the name into its elements; title, forename, surname
  • Make sure that valid titles are used
  • Check the syntax of the titles
  • Remove all whitespacing
  • Remove invalid characters
  • Make sure that forename’s first letter is capitalized
  • Make sure that surname’s first letter is capitalized
  • Make sure that double barrelled surnames have a hypen between the names
  • Do you need the gender information populated too?

Cleaning up email addresses

  • Ignore any capitalization – this isn’t matter for email addresses
  • Sort the emails alphabetically in order to find duplicate emails to delete
  • Make sure that the email address is valid
  • Remove invalid characters from the email address
  • Remove all whitespacing
  • Check that the domain name exists
  • Test if the email will bounce back

Cleaning up addresses

  • Identify typos in addresses and correct them
  • Find duplicate addresses to delete
  • Manually work out what County the address belongs to
  • Move data into different fields to get the first line of address and street info correct
  • Make sure that zipcodes are valid
  • If it’s UK data, make sure that the postcodes have spacing in the right place
  • Remove non-address data like email addresses
  • Make sure that the Country information is correct
  • Make sure that all the data has the right capitalization

Cleaning up telephone numbers

  • Remove invalid characters from the data
  • Remove all whitespacing from the telephone number
  • Decide on whether or not the telephone numbers should be in international or national format

If you think that there’s something missing from the above checklist, let me know by leaving a comment.

About Joanna

Checklistables.com Co-Founder Joanna Miller

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