Data gets stale over time. You rely on us to keep this data fresh, and we in turn rely on a host of others – including you! The information we serve you is the product of partnerships at many levels, and any data we mine or get from third party providers needs to be up-to-date.
This means that we rely on other organizations to keep their data current, but when you use our products, it is still our name on the door. Here at Service Objects, we use a three-step process to do our part in providing you with fresh data:
Who: We don’t make partnerships with just anyone. Before we take on a new vendor, we fully vet them to be sure this partnership will meet our standards, now and in the future. To paraphrase the late President Reagan, we take a “trust but verify” approach to every organization we team up with.
What: We run tests to make sure that data is in fact how we expect it to be. This runs the gamut from simple format tests to ensuring that results are accurate and appropriate.
When: Some of the data we work with is updated in real time, while other data is updated daily, weekly, or monthly. Depending on what type of data it is, we set up the most appropriate update schedule for the data we use.
At the same time, we realize this is a partnership between us and you – so to get the most out of our data, and for you to have the best results, we always suggest that you make sure to re-check some of your data points periodically, regardless of whether you are using our API or our batch processing system. Some of the more obvious reasons for this are that people move, phone numbers change, emails change, areas get redistricted, and so on. To maintain your data and keep it current, we recommend periodically revalidating it against our services.
Often business will implement our services to check data at the point of entry into their system, and also to perform a one-time cleanse to create a sort of baseline. This is all a good thing, especially when you make sure that data is going into your systems properly and is as clean as possible. However, it is important to remember that in 6-12 months some of this data will no longer be current. Going the extra step to create a periodic review of your data is a best practice and is strongly recommended.
We also suggest keeping some sort of time stamp associated with when a record was validated, so that when you have events such as a new email campaign and some records have not been validated for a long time – for example, 12 months or more – you can re-run those records through our service. This way you will ensure that you are getting the most out of your campaign, and at the same time protect your reputation by reducing bounces.
Finally, here is a pro tip to reduce your shipping costs: in our Address Validation service, we return an IsResidential indicator that identifies an address as being residential or not. If this indicator changes, having the most recent results will help your business make the most cost-effective shipping decisions.
For both us and you, keeping your data fresh helps you get the most out of these powerful automation tools. In the end there is no specific time span we can recommend for verification that will suit every business across the board, and there will be cases where it isn’t always necessary to keep revalidating your data: the intervals you decide to use for your application will depend mostly on your application. But this is still an important factor to keep in mind as you design and evaluate your data quality process.
To learn more about how our data quality solutions can help your business, visit the Solutions section of our website.