Introduction: Messy Data Adds Work!
Inconsistent data in the eTrigue database can lead to extra work when conducting day-to-day activities including running searches, creating lead alert rules, defining logic and rules within campaigns, etc. When users are analyzing data that is not standardized, confusion may arise because the data could be incomplete, inaccurate, or be displayed in unconventional ways.
For example, let's suppose you wanted to build an audience list that included prospects from a particular state. If your data was inconsistent, you might have to add a parameter to include the two letter state abbreviation (e.g. NY, CA) and another parameter to include the state fully spelled out (e.g. New York, California).
What is Data Normalization?
It is good practice to keep your data consistent and in formats that your organization agrees upon. When users routinely manage incoming data in their database, they are helping themselves in the long run.
This practice is known as data normalization. Benefits include:
- Reduces the amount of variation in your data
- Users know what to expect in their data (no guessing)
- Users can have confidence that their rules and logic match all appropriate records
- Data appearing within view becomes easier to read and quicker to identify
In DemandCenter, the Search and Replace Data function will allow you to normalize standard and custom field data. Any data that is normalized through this function will be instantly applied to your database. Users also have the choice of creating rules to update data on an ongoing daily basis.
How to Use Search and Replace Data:
- Go to Settings > Prospects Settings > Search & Replace Data.
- Click New.
- Under Select a field to search and replace, use the first drop-down menu to choose whether you would like to normalize a Standard or Custom field. In the second drop-down menu, choose the specific field to be normalized.
- Under Enter a value to search for in the field, type in the data value that you would like to normalize. For example, let's suppose you would like to normalize the state field for California and you would like to keep the format as a (two-letter) state abbreviation. In the text field, type in California -- this will be the value that the function would be replacing.
- Click Next.
- In the next window, a list of possible value matches will appear on the left side under Possible Matches. Select all possibles values that you would like to normalize and then double-click the RIGHT ARROW to move your selections into the Matches to Update.
- Under Update Matches with this value, type in the value that will replace the selected matches. Using our state example earlier above, we would type in CA because that is the value we would like have in the end to represent California.
- Click Next.
- In the Add Rule dialog, carefully review your choices to ensure that the Search and Replace Data function is replacing the desired data. If any changes are needed, click Cancel.
If you would like your rule to be automatically applied on an ongoing basis, check the box next to Data Normalization. This is recommended if you would like to keep your data consistent without having to manually run rules.
After you have verified the settings, click Save to apply your Search and Replace Data rule.
- Your new Search & Replace Data rule will run shortly after it is created. All possible matches will be updated with the value that you have specified.
If you had enabled Data Normalization earlier, the rule will also automatically run on a daily basis at the same time when the rule was initially created.