Garbage Data In, Garbage Data Out – Steps to Keep your Data Hygienic

Nowadays, it is very simple for Bad information to enter any and every database. This bad data could be in the way of duplicate contacts, improper formatting of records, or junk information about the records. It’s extremely difficult to manage bad data from inflowing into your database. However, you can always clean it out. Here we have written some simple ways to clean your database and maintain its compliance

1 – Detect the Duplicates

Once you start forming your database, duplicates are certain to creep in. Try to proactively scrub your database records on a timely basis which will help in eliminating duplicates then and there.

Be sure, while deleting any information you might feel is stale because you may by mistakenly remove the correct information as well. Check your entire database for duplicates and then filter out their priority fields (such as email address, phone number, etc.) and then merge the records accordingly keeping the correct info intact.

Although, this is fine for a database of a few hundreds or thousands, it will be extremely tedious for you or your team to audit your database of millions & billions sizes. Here you can either use a manually intervened marketing automation or CRM tools that automatically de-duplicated your records or you can opt of a 3rd party service provider like SMARTe who specialize in cleaning up large databases with their exclusive technology and manual intervention strategy that provides 100% accurate, customized and clean (Data Hygienic) contact data.

2- Set up Alerts

You must also make use of specific alerts to stay up-to-date with contacts in your database. Suppose you have automatically de-duplicated records based on email address. What if a record comes by that has a duplicate first and last name on your form, but a different email address? If you have your specific alerts set up, you will be notified and can proactively decide whether the record is a duplicate or not — after all, some people do share the same names.

3- Dispose Inactive Contacts

Have you thought about implementing a filter that hones in on your contacts that have been inactive for a specific timeframe? Why aren’t those people participating in your marketing campaigns? Are they still working for the same company? Have they moved on to a company who have similar business line to their previous company?

You can track all these, once you have figured out the inactive contacts. You may decide to keep or delete the inactive contacts based on your assumption that they could be of use for your futuristic marketing campaigns.

4- Normalize your Data

It’s very easy to clean up your database if it has a uniform structure to it. However this is easier said than done. For example, if you let leads type in their information such as country or residence, rather than choosing from a drop-down menu, it’s quite likely we’ll collect inconsistent results. United States residents may write “US,” “U.S.,” “USA,” “U.S.A,” or “United States of America.” which will complicate your data analysis.

That’s why choose a platform which can clean similar data values automatically. This will enable your country specific marketing campaigns get higher hit-rate and in-turn generates higher ROI. Of course, this is also not easy for larger volumes and here again SMARTe can help you if you need any help in structuring your database as per your marketing campaigns. We can also structure your data based on your in-house marketing automation or CRM tool which can enable you to seamlessly upload data into them.

5- Remove Junk Contacts

There are full chances that some anonymous leads might have sneaked into your database. You certainly won’t want to have such trash leads polluting your lead database and in-turn your campaigns. Try to run specific smart campaigns to identify records with fake email ids and then delete or blacklist these from your database completely.


We have tried to sum up some basic steps which you can take care of while maintaining your active contact database above. Again, this is per company/individual based if they want to do this in-house spending their time and resources cleaning up their data or delegating a 3rd party service provider like us who, not only can help them in keeping their existing contacts database clean and healthy but can also assist them with their data analysis and can help source additional contacts based on their various target criteria’s like countries, regions, technology & competitive market intelligence to name a few.

If you have any queries, feel free to reach out to us on:- +1 (408) 834 8842 (US Phone) or drop in your request by filling our contact form at the bottom of this post.