When Data Goes Bad

22 March 2018

Data, you may have heard something about it. It is currently one of the hottest topics in business, if you are not on the data train you are missing out on the goldmine.

Big Data, Little Data, Databases and loyalty programs are being used to learn detailed profile metrics on customers which can then be used to identify triggers of loyalty/disloyalty, responses to promotions and other incentives.

We are told that data will unlock insights such as a members favorite seat, their favorite day to visit even their favourite time, their preferred beverage, meal, sports, their favorite wine, who they visit with and much more. Loyalty programs are being swamped by incredulous volumes of customer data, yet what is often not discussed is when data fails us.

Over the last few months we have had the opportunity to look a few club databases in order to see how clubs are storing their data, what data is being collected and what systems are being employed. Unlike other businesses clubs immediately have an upper hand in data stakes because you are required to collect and maintain a database of your members, however, some simple mistakes may be impacting on your ability to utilise that data when making business decisions;

  • Incomplete data - missing phone numbers, postcodes, and other essential contact data can waste valuable time and lose customers. It is understandable that at the data collection point (as a new member is joining) staff may be rushed off their feet and are quickly trying to rush interactions through, however, the missing email, the missing phone number or other information may have huge consequences on how you are able to interact with that member. Clubs should be looking to ensure that all membership forms are completed in full, and staff should be given the opportunity to ensure the data is inputted correctly into the database or computer system.
  • Data errors - Incorrect and misspelt contact data can affect the response from your customers and damage your company's image. Following on from the incomplete data theme is errors. Common errors include spelling mistakes (names spelt wrongly) or errors in email addresses (enquiries2clubsnz.com). There needs to be someone responsible for checking the accuracy of data.
  • Obsolete data - The customers data may have been correct at the time of entry but can decay with time. Out of date entries can result in high return rates and lead to a poor company image and an increased unnecessary cost.

There are some wonderful easy tricks that you can use to double check your data. It may seem crazy but exporting your data into an excel spreadsheet can unveil little mistakes simply by using the conditional formatting options.

We encourage clubs to step back and have a look at their data management processes and question whether your data is ready to be put to use or whether you are sitting on a haul of fools gold.

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