Why does Data Decay so Fast and What to do About It?

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People change jobs, get promoted and move home. Companies go out of business, expand and relocate. Every one of these changes contributes to data decay. It’s been said that business databases degrade by around 30% per year, but why?

A report by IDG states that companies with effective data grow 35% faster year-on-year. However, for this to happen your data needs to have a high level of accuracy, consistency and completeness. Yet for many businesses, data quality is seen as an abstract concept – let’s examine why…

What is data decay?

Data decay refers to the gradual loss of data quality within a system, including key company information, personal details and most importantly, accurate contact information. As a result, the data becomes outdated and often invalid.

Why does data decay so quickly?

The world is constantly changing and sadly data is not immune to that change. From the moment you capture information, your data is at the mercy of processes and systems, as well as a number of human factors:

Disparate systems

Collecting data across multiple systems can often lead to inaccuracies, including typos, incomplete information or duplicate records.

If you integrate your systems without a cleansing exercise you are only bringing across your “dirty data”. As a result, …

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