Is your data getting “too old to trust”?

We recently announced a major new data quality module within our customer insight service MasterVision, and have since been having fun playing around with this new set of tools to see what we can discover.

One of the interesting things the module does is to highlight ‘data decay’ – where the information you hold is becoming out-of-date. This might relate to the contact details for your authors or subscribers, for example.

Here’s a screen shot showing when each record in a chosen database was last updated:

MasterVision's view of the 'up-to-dateness' of a given source

MasterVision’s summary view of the ‘up-to-dateness’ of a given data source

What this example shows is that most of the information here is 3 or more years old. That’s a fact which might lie ‘hidden’ without a data quality service like MasterVision to bring it to light.

It’s also a fact which is potentially cause for concern. Over time, many people might:

  • Change address (e.g. by moving house)
  • Change email (e.g. by changing job)
  • Change surname (e.g. after getting married)

So, there rapidly comes a point when the key contact information you hold may become “too old to be trusted”. What to do about this is a whole different story, but getting a clear picture of the “up-to-dateness” of your core customer data is a great first step.