What is Data Cleansing and Why is it Used?

Data is present in every business and it comes in various forms. Nowadays, many businesses may not be able to operate efficiently if they are not provided with certain information. For example, a doctor or dentist need to have your previous medical or dental record on file for the next time you schedule an appointment. Similarly, an ecommerce company needs to collect data, such as your search history and preferences, if they are to provide you with relevant, targeted advertisements.

However, the introduction of GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) on May 25th 2018 aims to clamp down on those companies who misuse the sensitive and personal information of their users. Its aim is to give more control to users over their personal data and penalises any business who mistreats (such as sells data to a third-party) this data.

Having said this; data cleansing has become extremely important for businesses all over Ireland and the EU. It is the action of:

  • Removing duplicate data
  • Amending incorrect data
  • Amending incomplete data
  • Removing irrelevant & unnecessary data.  

Importance of Data Cleansing

Having up-to-date, correct & complete data has a number of advantages for both big and small companies:


Improves the Decision-Making Process

Customer data should be the focal point for all major business decisions. In today’s modernised society, it is not sufficient to base decisions solely on opinions. Although data may be clean and accurate when first received, errors can creep in at any time. Yet many companies fail to prioritise data quality management. Accurate and quality consumer data are essential in the decision-making process and it can contribute to the success of the business in the long-term.


Increases Productivity

As data cleansing may be a rigorous, time-consuming task, many businesses decide to outsource the task. Having an accurate and up-to-date database also means that employees are making the best use of their work hours. They don’t have to run around looking for the correct information if it is already updated on the database and can be accessed at the touch of a button.

It also means staff won’t waste valuable time and effort into reaching out to customers with out-of-date information.


Reduces Costs & Increases Revenue

Finally, partaking in the act of regular data cleansing means lower costs and increased revenue for business. When user data is up-to-date they are more likely to respond to emails and marketing communications as you’ll understand your audience better and, therefore, be able to target them better. For example, an accurate email marketing database means less bounce backs.

It also means reduced costs as money is not wasted reaching out to users with incomplete or out-of-date data. How many wasted letters/materials do you receive each day addressed to previous tenants?  And, speaking of reducing costs, if you get caught misusing sensitive data, you could be charged a hefty fine if you don’t take into account the new regulations set out by GDPR.


There is no doubt that data is one of the most important aspects in targeting and communicating with your customers, but accurate and up-to-date data is even more important for a variety of reasons.

If you’re still unsure about what data cleansing is or need some help updating databases, then why not outsource this task. There are a range of companies who can help you save both time and money in the process, while also ensuring that employees are at their most productive.