Data enrichment is the process of enhancing an existing dataset by adding more information that increases the value of its profile. It is vital within forward-looking organizations that are aware that diverse data can give them a competitive advantage. Data enrichment is one of the steps of a data wrangling strategy that also includes discovery, structure, cleansing, validation, and publishing.

It starts with raw data

A business obtains data from several sources in a growing digital landscape. It may be customers entering information directly into a website, agents using a system, or tools that are used for tracking like Google Analytics.  The source that often gets missed is third-partty or external data.

When talking about third-party data, it is information on visitors, customers, or prospects that comes from interactions outside of your business. For example, you might cross-reference customer’s names with a tool that matches up Facebook profiles to develop more evident customer segments. Third-party data enriches first-party data to make it more robust and useful.

Data hygiene

Data enrichment is a hygiene approach that involves cleansing and appending existing data sets. In connecting with third-party sources, data enrichment techniques look to refine and improve the quality of data by correcting the “dirty” information. Typically, this includes missing, incomplete, and out of date records.

While there are lots of types of data enrichment, two of the most common are demographic and geographic.

Demographic data enrichment

Demographic data enrichment will add new information to a customer record to make it more complete. For example, if you are looking to offer family trips away, you would want to know whether your customers have children. Sourcing and appending the number of children your customers have is a form of data enrichment that optimizes marketing campaigns.

In recent years, social media data has taken enrichment to a new level. Marketers can leverage third-party tools to append Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, or Instagram profiles with existing data and gain in-depth customer knowledge. There are various tools to help businesses obtain social data. 

Geographic data enrichment

Appending and updating geographic data involves updating zip codes, streets, and towns, or adding longitude/latitude information where relevant. According to EasyPost data, 4.7% of times a customer fills out an e-commerce form, it contains an error. A data enrichment service can mitigate these errors and save money while ensuring campaigns reach the intended audience.   

Data compliance

Data enrichment processes can ensure compliance with data privacy regulations like GDPR and CCPA. These laws specify the type of data a business can hold, how long for and the mechanisms that need to be in place to keep it up-to-date. Without data enrichment, you risk losing valuable data or subjecting yourself to regulatory fines.

Personalization

Customers are very aware that their data is out there and being used by businesses. However, those who use it well, such as Amazon, Netflix, or Google, rarely get complaints. While there are certainly mixed feelings about a company that uses data, those we mention here make it advantageous for customers to do so, with personalization. Data enrichment enhances personalization further, using artificial intelligence (AI) applications that enable bespoke messages and experiences throughout the customer journey.

Summary

Any business with a customer database that does campaigns and wants to scale up needs data enrichment processes to be in place. As the amount of data continues to expand, it can quickly get out-of-hand without proper organization and segmentation. Data enrichment tools ensure the information you hold is accurate, complete, and useful to create informed decisions.

Data enrichment improves your knowledge of both new and existing customers. By enriching your data, you have the ammunition to create a niche and discover new opportunities that build a genuine competitive advantage.

If you have data enrichment needs, contact StrategicDB we work with third party data providers, having data mining capabilities and can make data enrichment work for your business.

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