Can D.Q. C.Y.A. A.S.A.P.?

If you’re like me and love acronyms – then you’ve probably already figured out the title. But for those of you who prefer the English language in all its unabbreviated beauty; the title is asking: “Can Data Quality Cover Your A** As Soon As Possible?”

And the answer is an unqualified “YES”!

This was brought home to me with some stark reality on one of the first mailings I was ever involved in. It was a subscription renewal piece for a snowmobiling magazine.

A few weeks after the mail dropped I was going through the returns. One response will forever haunt me. Someone had sent back the cover of the magazine’s latest issue and written across it in black marker was “STOP SENDING THESE TO MY SON! HE WAS KILLED IN A SNOWMOBILE ACCIDENT.”

Well, to use a cliché – my jaw hit the floor. How could anyone at my client’s have known this? What could we have been done to prevent this? Unfortunately, not much, as this was before the era of databases to pass your list against; like the “deceased file” for instance.

It’s not hard to imagine other situations where poor data quality can leave you with egg on your face, or even worse – a lawsuit on your hands. For example…

  • Sending confidential information to the wrong address.
  • Sending “Over 18” offers to someone under 18.
  • Time-Sensitive mail that is delivered late – or even not at all (recall warnings, legal notices, etc.)

So my suggestion is: if you want D.Q to C.Y.A. A.S.A.P., then take the time to find out what data quality services are available and which make the most sense for your unique needs.