What is data enrichment?
Also known as data augmentation or data extraction, this is the process of enhancing existing data – that may be aged, incomplete or missing certain criteria that could prevent it working at its best. Customer data enrichment is the act of supplementing existing data with additional information to provide more insights – often sourced through third party channels
There are many benefits to data extraction – but the primary reason that businesses put such value on this exercise is because supplementing raw data with enhancements allows companies and brands to know their customers better. The act of data enrichment will help you understand exactly what makes your customers tick.
The process is simple, and the results are tangible: incorporating new data into existing data can simply be adding missing addresses, telephone numbers or email addresses, or digging deeper and adding in-depth information such a financial status, automotive data, or purchase trends.
B2C and B2B data enrichment is an ongoing process, not an isolated project. In order to keep data at an optimum and performing well, it must be kept up to date – this can be a huge undertaking for a business and one of the reasons that it is often outsourced to a third party. (A recent report showed that more than 50% of businesses spent more time cleaning and enriching data than they did using it)
Why do I need data enrichment?
Many companies hold masses of data – this might be on a CRM, server and databases or website analytics etc. This data is hugely important to companies who are looking to understand more about their customers and prospects in order to grow sales. However, for many companies, this data is classed as ‘raw data’ – it has not been enhanced or worked but simply stored, gathering dust or not growing.
Companies that recognise the value of their data, ‘cultivate’ this further by enhancing it through data enrichment. Data enrichment enables companies to leverage existing data to help them make more informed decisions, gain valuable insights into customers and prospects, markets and sectors.
In a nutshell, data enrichment enables businesses to enhance the data that they already possess, increasing sales opportunities or ways to interact and engage with their customer base.
What is an example of data enrichment?
There are many examples of using new data to enrich raw data, such as:
Referencing IP reputation servers to cross reference specific IP addresses in order to identify or disclose any detrimental and negative activity associated to that particular IP address.
Taking a username from a particular application and scanning this through a central resource such as IAM (identity and access management system) to determine the real name of the person, their work position, marital status, home value, etc. This new data can then be added to the original data to enrich it. This is classed as ‘demographic data’ enhancement.
Identifying the physical location of an IP address by referencing geo location services to provide postal addresses, regions etc. This is an example of ‘geographic data’ and could be used by online retailers when planning locations of physical stores or by marketers for direct mail campaigns.
It is important that when selecting your data enrichment provider that you partner with a reputable supplier who is following the strict security policies on network.
How do I get started on understanding my customers better?
To make a start on data enrichment for your company, we will look at the data that you already have and run an audit report to establish if your data is up to date and identify any duplicates, dead information, or deceased individuals. From here we will clean the data and then work with you to establish any additional data requirements that you have – bringing this altogether in an agreed format.
To speak to Controlaccount about how to get started, get in touch today.