Data Cleanliness Best Practices

Data Cleanliness Best Practices

As a marketer you know how important clean data is. In fact, the success of most of your campaigns and initiatives depend on it. So how can you make sure you are keeping your database as clean as possible?

The best way to ensure clean data is by putting measures in place during the initial collection to reduce the amount of dirty data that gets introduced into your database. Sounds easy, but how do you do that?

Some best practices include picklists, progressive profiling, and blind forms — and each can have a big role in setting your future campaigns up for success.


Picklists can be set up in the form section of Oracle Eloqua and allow you to create custom lists of values that your contacts can choose from as answers to your form questions. There are a few obvious benefits here. If you don’t allow your contacts to freely type whatever they want into a field while filling out a form, it allows you to keep a much cleaner dataset and better predict what data will look like. The less obvious benefit has to do with data collected from picklists that gets passed to a CRM.

Many times, CRM data is coded to be easily read and used by sales people at your organization or even other data organizing and analyzing systems. When you create a picklist, it allows you to program a user-friendly value visible on the actual landing page the form is on — but pair that user-friendly option with the coded values you need to feed to your CRM.

Blind Forms

Blind forms are another way you can keep your data on the tidy side — especially if you find yourself emailing contacts from your database that you have previously collected details on. Blind forms can also be set up in the forms section of Oracle Eloqua and don’t require any fancy configuring. Just program all the fields you would like to see captured by the form and make sure they fill with field merges. Then place the HTML form name in blind form code found on Topliners.

Blind forms are extra beneficial for your team. They allow your audience to sign up for events or access content without having to fill out their information yet again, and you get to keep your clean data in-tact no matter how many times a user submits data.

Progressive Profiling

Progressive profiling is a great way to not only avoid form abandonment, it’s a great way to get your contacts to append your data for you instead of running it though an appender or pay to have another team append it for you. You can read more about progressive profiling and how to set up your own forms here.

Not only can best practices be kept on the front end of data collection, your sales organization can do their part to ensure clean data is being added to the system. During events and tradeshows, it can be hard to collect the right customer information while they’re on the floor, but a tool that will help, if the meeting format and company budget allows, is a tablet salespeople can hand to potential customers to fill out predetermined information. This form can be as simple or complicated as you like, but will help keep data consistency, even during the hustle and bustle of events.

If tablets are out of the question, keep it simple. Either go for less data — bare minimum could be email address, company name, and business phone — or just have sales people collect business cards if possible.

Following a show, it may be necessary to manually upload data, but creating a standard document with required fields before the event will give the sales team a target to shoot for when collecting and keep consistency. Even if getting data lists uploaded is left to marketing, standardizing lists before the entry is still important.

At Relationship One, we collect the following fields for manual uploads: First Name, Last Name, Title, and Company. After the event, we pull this information and append additional information about the event to help further nurture leads. We append: Lead Source – Most Recent and Lead Source – Original. Both of the “Lead Source” fields have the same value, but while uploading into our Oracle Eloqua instance, we are sure to have Lead Source – Most Recent ALWAYS update and Lead Source – Original to update if BLANK.

By having these standards set before an upload, mistakes are hard to make. Field mapping is automatically generated by Oracle Eloqua and manual entry is a breeze! Then let your new lead data be transferred seamlessly to your integrated CRM system.

To keep a clean data set try working these three simple tools into your campaigns. If you have any questions or comments, write below or contact us!

By | 2018-06-28T19:56:05+00:00 April 30th, 2018|Build, Data, Eloqua, Oracle Marketing Cloud|0 Comments

About the Author:

Leah joined Relationship One in September of 2017 and is excited about working at an agency for the first time! She has been working with Oracle Eloqua and Marketo for two years and can't wait to get even more in-depth experience. Outside of work you'll most likely find her playing Ultimate Frisbee with her club team, Snap, or spending time with her rescue dog, Pepper.

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