Data matching or de-duplication strategy

Data Duplication ServiceSome organisations don’t have any data matching or data de-duplication strategy. That is, they don’t proactively do anything to find duplicate records at point of entry or run projects periodically to find them. But maybe this IS the strategy…the do nothing strategy.

If you send out a mail shot to 100,000 constituents, you’ll will inevitably get a % of these back as gone aways, deceased, new address unknown, not known at this address. So, you let the postal company do the work for you. You get all the returns and then update your CRM. But this approach has pros and cons.

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  • You don’t need to invest people or budget in data matching & de-duplication (except to tidy up the returns)
  • It comes back to you, just sit back and wait for the returns…


  • Not all issues will come back to you so you won’t find out about them
  • There’s a risk to your reputation
  • It’s a waste of cost – postage / materials
  • It only comes back in meaningful volumes after running large mailshots


So, is it advisable? I think not. Point of entry capture of data problems is mostly about process and people – there is a technology factor but people and process come first. Periodic projects to find and tidy up duplicates is difficult at first but once it becomes embedded in a organisation – well then it’s just culture. Finally, there are stats out there that point to really high costs for bad data quality – obviously that has to be reconciled with the cost of setting up a data matching & de-duplication strategy but when you see the figures, the latter is a nominal cost.

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