The Horrifying Facts of Your Data

Author | Data Cleansing, Data Enrichment, Data Quality | , , , , , , , , , ,

The spirit of Halloween is brewing and it seems like no better time to take a look at the horrifying reality of your data.

91% of businesses suffer from dirty data. Whether you choose to face it or run away from it, the terrifying fact remains – your data is decaying at a rate of 2.1% per month. That means that in just one year, up to 22.5% of your database will be incorrect, stale, and unusable. Imagine if you haven’t cleaned your database in even longer… oh, the horror!

Here are some of the annual changes that cause data decay:

  • 3 million marriages
  • 2 million divorces
  • 3 million births
  • 5 million deaths
  • 47 million moves
  • 37 million phone numbers
  • 20% of all email addresses
  • 17% of business names
  • 21% of CEOs

That means that the data you are using for communications, analytics and compliance becomes stale quicker than you might think.

Decayed data contaminates your entire database, resulting in poor quality data which is the main cause for 40% of all failed business initiatives (according to a Gartner, Inc. study).

Let’s look at the “1-10-100 Rule” which states it takes $1 to verify the accuracy of a customer record at point-of-entry, $10 to clean it in batch form, and $100 per record if nothing is done at all. This includes costs associated with undeliverable shipments, low customer retention and unsuccessful CRM initiatives.

The reality is that it isn’t enough to simply have a data quality firewall at point of entry, because data changes after the point of entry. Data should be cleansed periodically so that it doesn’t go stale. It ends up costing you more not to have a solution in place than it will verify, cleanse and guarantee that you have valid contact data.

So, what should you do about it? Put on your best super-hero-themed Halloween costume and fight that data decay! Ok, ok, we can help – our solutions keep data clean and up-to-date for your organizational needs.

Melissa has a wide-range of data quality tools – from global address, phone, email and name verification solutions, to identify resolution, to data enrichment tools that add demographic and geographic data – that provide better business intelligence, analytics and improved sales and marketing initiatives.

Discover for yourself why more than 10,000 companies worldwide rely on Melissa to gain a single, accurate and trusted view of critical information assets. Visit for more information.