The hidden costs of working with poor data

“Without quality data, your data science is worthless.”
– Michael Stonebraker, MIT professor and data scientist

The quality of B2B data can make or break a business. Gartner, a research firm, estimates that poor data quality costs organisations an average of £10.6 million every year.

Any strategies to generate new business will be drastically hampered without complete confidence in the quality of your B2B data. However, with a little love and care, you can turn your old data into a well-run machine for creating new business and securing growth.

To understand the hidden costs of working with poor data, we need to understand what poor data is and what it looks like.

Examples of poor data include:
  • Outdated information (invalid emails, old contacts etc.)
  • Missing contact fields (names, emails, phone numbers etc.)
  • Formatting errors, misspellings, wrong wording
  • Data entered in the wrong field
  • Duplicate entries across multiple datasets

How your data can hide underlying problems

poor data

The data your business has gathered can be holding you back without you even knowing. A real-life example for many business owners goes something like this:

The business you own is well established and has built up a database of contacts going back years, you think this is great as you have over 10,000 contacts, that’s 10,000 potential opportunities, the problem is that over time hundreds of those contacts will be out-of-date; emails that are no longer in use, employees who’ve left companies, people who have since been promoted or retired.

Your company’s email-sending reputation will quickly degrade if it receives high levels of hard bounces, which if left unchecked will result in your marketing being labelled as spam and suspension from email-sending platforms.

Bad customer experiences damage your reputation

If your data is inaccurate, you could be sending duplicate information, content that is irrelevant, and emails that are addressed to the wrong person to thousands of potential clients. So rather than getting the recipient onboard, you instead annoy them and damage your brand.

And that’s not counting the emails you’ve sent that have been undelivered due to old addresses or misspelt names preventing you from reaching your target audience. All of this hit your brand’s reputation hard and once that happens, it is extremely difficult to recover.

Inaccurate data wastes time


Your marketing team want to focus on creating amazing, personalised campaigns, you want your sales team to be focused on beating their targets, not wasting time checking whether their lists of contacts are accurate or not. Each time your team sends out an email to an inaccurate address or calls a number that no longer exists is time they could be selling.

Without enriched categorised data, your marketing campaigns cannot be personalised to a segment of your database. This personalised marketing brings in 77% more ROI than generalised campaigns but is impossible to execute without an enriched database.

How to deal with poor data quality

fixing data

So, what can be done to overcome poor-quality data?

There are three key ways to turn poor data into quality data; a data build, data cleanse, and data enrichment.

Data Build – Feeds your pipeline with fresh data, researched specifically to your ideal client profile.

Data Cleanse – Cleans your existing database by identifying and removing the poor data before replenishing it with newly researched and validated contacts.

Data Enrichment – Gap fills missing contact fields and expands your existing data with additional information, creating more personalised and targeted campaigns through segmenting categorised data.

Think of it like training a gold medal-winning sprinter. You wouldn’t feed them junk food every day, give them outdated training advice, and train them to use broken equipment. Well, this is how most businesses are using their data. As the adage goes: garbage in, garbage out.

Whereas data building, cleansing, and enriching is like providing your athlete with a nutritionist-approved diet, sports-science-based training techniques and the best equipment money can buy to reach peak performance.

Your bespoke data needs

Whether your business needs a data build, data cleanse, data enrichment or all three, we can assist you with our GDPR-compliant, bespoke B2B data services tailored to your requirements.

To discuss your data needs, please get in touch and we can show you how our services create more targeted audiences, lead to better results and ensure sustained growth.