What is Data Obsolescence?

Last Update : 18.01.23 • Publication : 01.12.22 • Reading :

When it comes to data marketing, it is essential to own reliable and recent information. It is estimated that 25% of B2B data become outdated within a year. Outdated data result in waste of time for your teams and loss of money for your company. They could also damage your brand or company image. Avoid these pitfalls by periodically updating your customer files.

Obsolete Data: Definition

Obsolete data refer to information that was accurate in the past but is no longer accurate today.

Some data are more stable than others. Information relating to identity do not change (gender, date of birth, first and last names). On the other hand, contact information can change over time (telephone number, address, email address, etc.). It is the same with employment (employer, role in the company, etc.). In average, a person changes jobs 4 to 13 times during his or her career. If you are active in B2B, you should pay even more attention to data recency.

Data Obsolescence and Data Recency

Data obsolescence refers to the loss of reliability and value of the information. The older the date of data collection or update, the more likely they become obsolete.

Data recency refers to the length of time between data collection or update and use for marketing purposes.

Importance of Recent Data for Marketing

Data marketing (or data-driven marketing) is based on the collection, analysis and use of information on consumers.

Since today’s companies increasingly using digital systems, the volume of data is enormous. This mass of information is priceless for marketeers. They better understand their ideal client profiles, which allows them to rationally create marketing strategies.

To successfully achieve your prospection, follow-up, or loyalty generation tasks, you need exhaustive, accurate, reliable, and recent data. High-quality information guarantee better performance and faster decision-making.

If you rely on outdated data, you run the following risks:

  • wasting your time
  • increasing costs, especially for email sending
  • reducing sales
  • tarnishing your reputation

How do you Update your Database?

Database reliability and value subside over time. Act before the quality of your customer file deteriorates. Update your database at least once a year. To do so, determine, for each line, when was the last time data was updated. Start with the oldest update date. Check the firmographic data and contact information of your counterparts. You can find most of this information on the Internet: in company directories, on LinkedIn, on the company’s website, etc.

Manually searching and validating all the entries in your customer file is extremely time-consuming. To update your database, the simplest solution is to opt for a database provider. They will update your file and, if needed, they will enrich it with additional information. Depending on the provider, this update can be executed from time to time or in real-time.

What is Data Management?

Data management is one of the most important disciplines for making business decisions and conducting activities that will benefit the business.

Why is it important? What processes should be in place? What are the best practices? Here's everything you need to know about it.

Marc Wahba
Author Marc Wahba

Meet Marc, the co-founder and CTO of Infobel. He is in charge of software development. In 1991, he obtained a degree in civil electromechanical engineering from the Polytechnic Faculty and later earned a master's degree in management from the Solvay School of Brussels. Along with his brother, he founded Infobel in 1995, which was the first online directory to offer an online white pages directory. Marc's innovative mindset has led to the launch of new data products and services that have become a global success, serving clients all over the world.



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