Time Value of Data: Preventing Client Data Decay

Time Value of DataThe principle of temporal depreciation applies to many things in life, like the value of money and biological aging. And it also applies to one of the most discussed topic of the decade - data. Simply put, your data today holds more value than your data tomorrow. This is the principle behind the time value of data. Along with Big Data obstacles, data decay makes data analytics even more so challenging. 


Within data decay, deteriorating client database has been a common challenge for businesses. In a 2001 survey, more than 70% of business employees said they had at least one change to their personal contact information, whether it was a phone number, email, or address. And a more recent study by Hubspot found that the natural degradation of marketing databases can cause a business to lose 1 in every 5 contacts.

The financial losses to data decay are huge. UK businesses reportedly spend $346 million a year sending out promotional mail to incorrect addresses.

There is a number of inevitable reasons to data decay - business contacts change emails for every time they move companies and people change names, commonly due to changes in marital status.

There is no magical solution to eliminate stale data. But there are a few preventative measures businesses can take to extend its value. 

Leverage Cloud and Mobile Technology

Manual data entry is archaic. Unfortunately, there are many businesses that still rely on it. The task is arduous and the process is not safe from human error: data is gathered in paper or digital forms and depending on operations, passed to another point of contact who inputs them into spreadsheets, then only to be shared with others. From the time it takes from collection to analysis, analysis to execution, the data has already decayed. Hence, the cloud. Leveraging cloud and mobile technology is crucial in buying you time. It essentially extends the life of your data from beginning to end.

Trim the Data

Another way to stave off decay is to reevaluate what data you are actually gathering. For example, if your business only sends advertising materials through email, you may not need all your clients’ physical addresses. Having smaller amounts of data at the onset will help you declutter when the time comes to clean up your existing data. 

Check the Health of Your Data

Although the causes of data decay are nearly impossible to eliminate, you can be proactive about ensuring the quality of your data. Some software tools enable employees to fill out customized forms with clients. By periodically checking up on your clients’ information when you see them, you can delete your old list and export a new one into Excel or another organizational tool. All data will decay, but by performing a refresher every few weeks or months, you will make future evalautions easier.

Retain the Time Value of Data

Small and medium businesses face a number of inevitable challenges. Because data decay is a perpetual problem with inevitable causes, businesses need to take a proactive role in ensuring their data quality is up to par. By automating entry where possible, limiting data gathering, and performing periodical checkups, your business will gain the competitive edge that healthy data quality provides.


Introducing New FAM Software Subscribe today for more helpful blog posts!

Matthew Brogie

Mat Brogie is part of the founding team, and CEO of Repsly, the world's leading solution for high performance retail execution teams. Mat has spent the past 15 years of his career focused on bringing technology enabled business solutions to the consumer goods industry, having implemented solutions for tens of thousands of field reps at companies such as Coca-Cola, Procter & Gamble, Pepperidge Farm and hundreds of others.

Add to the conversation below


Latest Posts

2 Min Read

Trade Promotion

The Amount of Money You Could Be Losing Due to Poor Promotion Execution Will Shock You

Melissa Sonntag

Chances are, you probably know how much your team spent on product promotions last quarter. But do you know how much of that investment actually generated a return, and how much of it went to..

1 Min Read

Trade Promotion

How to Perfect Retail Campaigns in Real-Time with Your National Account Managers

Melissa Sonntag

A huge portion of CPG brand spend goes toward driving sales in national accounts, where brands not only have the biggest opportunity, but also carry the most risk. With such a massive investment..

1 Min Read

Trade Promotion

How Brands Can (Finally) Use POS Data To Improve Retail Execution

Melissa Sonntag

In the past decade, the emphasis on collecting, reporting, and analyzing data has come front and center for CPG manufacturers. For brands selling at retail, the increased availability of point of..