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Throughout this site, we have been extolling the virtue of data quality and what it can mean to a business to have clean data. This is all very well, but once it is clean, it needs to stay clean.

A database is, or should be, a constantly changing and evolving environment. Adding and removing of records, changing of parameters, additional fields, all can affect the structure of the database. If this is not properly managed, then there is a danger the database can malfunction, or even become corrupt. Backing up the database, which should be a matter of course, is not quite enough. Database maintenance includes checking for signs of corruption in the database, looking for problem areas, rebuilding indexes, removing duplicate records, and checking for any abnormalities in the database which might signal a problem.

Standardization and validation of data is one important area here. Users entering data into the database should be required to enter in a standard format, with certain information compulsory. This should significantly reduce, or, depending on the structure of the database and input medium, eliminate duplicates.

We can help to maintain your data or advise you on how to do this yourself. Either way, you need to have a maintenance strategy in place, or you risk compromising the integrity of your data and this can have a significant impact on your business as a whole.


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