Even the cleanest and most well-kept homes need a deep cleaning once in a while, and your data is no different. When many people and systems manage your data, there is an increased likelihood that it will become messy over time. For example, if your database is scattered and riddled with typos or duplicate records, you have a bit of a mess on your hands. So, if you are considering hiring outside help to deliver data cleansing services, here are some features and functionality to look for when comparing vendors.
1. Standardizes your data upon import.
In merging data from multiple sources, there are often inconsistencies in data format. Your solution must be able to match one format to another. For example, one system may retain a donor’s first name as “JENNIFER”, while another has it as “Jennifer.” Although the information is the same, standardization becomes necessary to ensure consistency of data throughout your database.
2. The ability to dedupe data in real-time.
Duplicate records are inevitably introduced in the process of importing data from multiple sources. Yes, standardization can do a lot to minimize these occurrences, but nonprofits will always have to contend with duplicate data and the havoc it can cause. The ability to identify duplicate and merge records is essential in keeping your database clean.
3. Integrates data from any source.
Your CRM database can be an important tool for deriving insights about your donors. The best data-cleansing software will help you integrate data from any source, so you have a complete view of each of your constituents.
4. Let’s you call the shots.
Be on the lookout for a data cleansing solution that allows you to set the rules. You know your business better than anyone else! Clean data should be on your terms. Find a vendor who lets you stay in control of YOUR data.
5. Continuously cleans your data.
The last thing you want is a solution that cleans your data once and moves on to the next customer. Ideally, your solution will refresh your data on an ongoing basis.
In case you missed it, check out these other resources.
- Download The Ultimate Guide to Data Cleansing for Nonprofits
- Watch the recording of New Year’s Resolution: Don’t Drop the Donor Data Ball