Cleaning your database via a 3rd party

Harry Brett-Jones
Harry Brett-Jones
  • Updated

Here in support we're always going on about the importance of the data in your system.  A clean database means more accurate analysis and targeted communications.  It can also save you money by stopping you from wasting precious marketing budget on mailing people who have moved etc.

Keeping it all clean is a pain though - Spektrix tries to help by making the data easy to merge and using the email as a unique identifier but there are still probably gone aways, deceased people and duplicates in there somewhere.

Third party companies like CCR may be able to help you here.  They are equipped with all sorts of systems to help tidy up your database and we are then happy to work with them to work out the best way of extracting your data and reimporting it with the new information into Spektrix.

If you're interested in getting your data cleaned we would recommend starting up a conversation with your chosen data cleanse company.  They will talk you through the options available and will often provide a free report of how many records they think they can clean up for you.

If you decide you want to go ahead - drop an email to support to let us know what you're up to and we'll take it from there.


Things to Think About

Third party data cleaners will usually talk at length about the options available to you but we've put together a few things that you may want to make sure you cover with them here:


Merging Duplicates

Data companies will run your data through their systems to identify records that they think are duplicated.  These records are then updated with a tag and an attribute that points you at the potential duplicates.

Once the import has completed you'll be able to pull a report of the potential duplicates and manually run through the system merging them with the Spektrix merge tool.

Although this results in a lot of manual work - it's often the preferred way of working as you can make decisions about which records to merge and what data to keep as you go along.

Remember that the support team can also make you a report that identifies any potential duplicate records - you may want to use this as a starting point.


Addresses and Email Addresses

Most companies will offer to update an address or append emails.  This can be useful if you want to tidy up the contact details on your account but please remember that suddenly adding in a new address or email that a customer hasn't specifically given you can be an odd thing for your customers.  We recommend that you tag anyone that's changed as part of the import and then email/mail them separately to explain what's happened.

You cannot have more than one of the same email address on the system at once so if you attempt to put a used email into another record it will fail to import.

If your third party company specifies a new address for the customer we will import it and set it to the default address.  The old addresses on the record will not be deleted.


Wealth Screening

A really useful service that most data companies provide is to identify wealthy individuals in your system.  We would always recommend that you take advantage of this service if possible.  Once you have this information your fundraising department can start campaigns to see if they can engage these individuals for large gifts - if you use Spektrix Fundraising you'll have the added benefit of being able to easily look up their booking and purchasing behaviours to support your campaign.


Tags and Attributes

We recommend that everyone who is updated or added is tagged as part of the import so that you can deal with those customers separately from the rest of your database if needs be.

You will probably want tags for things such as deceased records, gone aways etc.  You can also add things like Mosaic records in the form of attributes depending on whether your third party provider offers this service.

We can't make people inactive through an import so we recommend tagging those records and then asking support to make them inactive for you.  We always recommend making people inactive manually as you may want to change some of the information on the record before you make it inactive.