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Definition of the Week: Data Hygiene

RedPoint | March 1, 2016

Data Hygiene is the high-level term to refer to all of the processes employed to ready data for effective use. These would include the basic data quality efforts to ensure the data is free from errors, including: missing, incomplete, or incorrect records, and duplicate records. Data Hygiene seeks to ensure that the data is clean at every stage it is used, entered, stored, and managed.

In addition to businesses’ obvious interests in having clean data for its purposes, in the United States, the push for cleaner and more accountable data was accelerated by the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. That law was enacted as a response to the rapid rise in the number of unsolicited and unwanted emails, and later, mobile phone spam solicitation calls that were annoying the public. This Act provided further motivation for data providers to be more rigorous in how they scrubbed their data and put a brighter spotlight on the requirements for good data hygiene best practices.

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