B2B databases high in error according to survey

LONDON - Around a fifth of the records in B2B databases are duplicates or blank postcodes, along with other errors such as incorrect postcodes, according to research carried out by Wegener DM's Business Data Solutions.

The study involved databases supplied by 51 organisations totalling 1,530,550 records who took part in a Wegener's ongoing free data audit service.

On average, 19% of the records analysed for each organisation were duplicates, 13% lacked contact names, 8% had incorrect postcodes, 21% had blank postcodes, 3% had gone out of business, and 1% had moved.

Wegener Business Data's commercial director Steve Cook said: "This research highlights the importance of constantly maintaining customer and prospect databases. Many organisations are wasting a great deal of time, effort and money targeting the same individuals over and over again. Not only does this not make commercial sense, it is also extremely irritating to the recipients involved and is more conducive to losing business than winning it."

In addition to highlighting data cleansing issues for companies, such free audits make firms aware of enhancement opportunities, allowing profiling and customer segmentation.

To do this a sample of the records in the database are matched to Wegener's PrimeFile plus database of 3.5m records, as well as to The REaD Group's Business Suppression File, and the Royal Mail's Business Changes File.

As a result of the findings, it is then possible to formulate a data cleansing, enhancement and prospecting programme suited precisely to the needs of the company concerned. This includes identification of those companies that are not on the database supplied, and the provision of net records for future prospecting.

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