QUESTION: What is data hygiene?
ANSWER: The term
"data hygiene" refers to a set of procedures for
keeping a database in good shape. When we talk about data hygiene on
this Web site, we normally discuss it in connection with
databases that contain names and addresses. However, the concept of
data hygiene is important for any kind of data.
For name-and-address data, data-hygiene procedures normally entail:
Depending upon the needs of the company or organization that maintains
the database, data-hygiene procedures might also include:
- Ensuring that the database doesn't contain duplicate records.
- Maintaining the addresses in the U.S. Postal Service's standard format.
Other terms for data hygiene are "data cleanup" and
- Querying the U.S. Postal Service's National Change of Address (NCOA)
database to determine if any of the individuals or companies/organizations
in the database have relocated, and updating the database with
new addresses as needed.
- Making sure each address in the database is actually a
valid address to which the U.S. Postal Service will deliver mail.
Citation Software offers a number of software products that facilitate
data-hygiene procedures. To learn about them,
See also CASS.
See also data enhancement.
See also PAVE.