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Investing in Data Health Is Like Owning a Home

My husband and I are in the process of buying a new home and selling our current one. We are constantly seeing the consequences of someone’s investment in their property and how it affects the price and desirability thereof. Although the expense to repair the plumbing and HVAC in our current home was hard to bear at the time, we are grateful now that the improvement has boosted our listing price.

The parallels between property and data have not been lost on me as my husband and I go through this process. As with a home, you can use your database daily, overlooking the little things that need repair, like marking bad addresses, for instance. But just like the little leak that turns into a big puddle, at some point the need for repair becomes a necessity. And like the leak, it is less costly to fix when it’s small.

It’s trite but true that you can’t make big money with bad data. If your database has quirks that prevent you from getting clean mailing lists and accurate reports, now is the time to invest. The investment can be in freeing up your database manager to finally do the clean-up she knows needs be done. It can also be in hiring someone with the tools to make sweeping repairs and changes to the infrastructure. The advantage to the latter is that you will also get a comprehensive renovation and practices in place to keep data healthy.

Investment in data health is worth it. Budget for it. Or take the leap of faith that the expense now will reap quick rewards. Like well-maintained homes in today’s housing market, you will make back your investment and more.

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