How is the best data verified?
Maintaining a data file requires ongoing commitment and resources.
If you are looking after an internal database of clients and/or prospects you will appreciate how easily data can decay and the challenge of keeping contact information up-to-date.
You may have also purchased a mailing list in the past of, shall we say, dubious quality. Again, this will have shown how data deteriorates without the necessary ongoing verification.
The bad data
There are so many places you can buy data; these days, it seems everyone has a list of contacts they want to sell.
We get a surprising amount of people calling us and asking if we want to purchase their lists. This is not how we source our data, as we work only with Tier 1 providers and the quality of those “other” lists is almost always very poor.
That poor quality is because since the time the data was originally gathered, which could be more than 10 years ago, it has not been verified.
Consider how many times you have changed your interests, moved house, job, office or industry in 10 years.
Also – unless you can trace the data back to its source – how do you know if it was legitimately gathered for the purpose(s) you wish to use it?
The good data
Luckily, there are many suppliers who build, source and maintain legitimate contact lists of both consumer and business contacts.
The sources of the data within these legitimate lists include:
- Companies House, Directories, Credit Reference agencies, Publishers and Event companies for B2B data;
- Electoral Role, BT OSIS, Publishers, Events, Form Completion, Subscriptions and Surveys for B2C contact lists.
Good suppliers will also make sure the data gathered to compile their lists is run through the appropriate suppression files such as Gone Aways, Deceased, Change of Address and Business Changes files.
These types of files are normally up-to-date within around 12-18 months. Meaning the contacts are predominantly accurate, resulting in improved marketing.
The best data
In an ideal world, every contact in every file would be researched and verified by phone on a regular basis. All information held on the contact would be checked – including the spelling of these details.
Mailing list databases of this type are rare.
They require a great deal of resource and investment to ensure the data is kept accurate and within a short recency.
In the B2B data sector our Corporate Contacts list is the only generic file to be maintained in this way.
We employ a team of 8-9 full-time Data Research Assistants whose sole role is to call through the entire database of 120,000 contacts and verify each and every contact and their details.
Not every data file will or can be maintained to this extremely high level of accuracy and recency. But this is precisely how the best data available in the market is verified.
- Have you purchased data only to find the accuracy and recency to be poor?
- How do you keep your own data up-to-date or remove now inaccurate records?
- Have you seen improved ROI from using quality data sets?