Is Dirty Data Costing Your Firm Big Bucks?

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“Data quality problems currently cost U.S. business in excess of $600 billion per year, according to interviews with industry experts, customers, and survey data” – Garvroshe


dirty data can cost you

Few people want to have a conversation about data. It’s not that exciting, until you put a number like $600 billion on it. Then they stop and take notice. Because, sure, $600 billion is just an estimate, but the truth is, there is a big price tag on maintaining and handling data. How you store your contacts, resumes, cover letters, and other data has a significant impact on how costly it will be to restore your data if your desktop system crashes.


As a recruitment and staffing firm, your data is one of your biggest assets. It represents the contacts you’ve made, the candidates you’ve placed, and the vendors you trust. Your data helps leverage your business for future opportunities. But if you had to put your data in the hands of a stranger, would it be a powerful tool, or a holy terror of a mess?


3 ways dirty data can cost you

  1. Data Cleansing Fees. If your data is clean and well-formatted, it should be relatively easy for a data specialist to read your data and render it in a manner that best suits your firm. If it is a hodge-podge of missing fields and ill-placed characters, you’re looking at a $75.00 per hour (or more) fee to fill in the blanks.
  2. Lost Candidates. Maybe you have a great candidate, but her resume is lost in a dark dungeon of inappropriately named folders on Sam’s desktop. Well-organized data means the best candidate is always at your fingertips – not lost to the competition.
  3. Misuse of Time. You’re a recruiter. You need to be on the phones, hitting the pavement, sending emails. You don’t have time to be Googling “Jennifer Anderson” because someone neglected to fill out the “phone” field and emails are bouncing back from her email address.


Whether you’re using your Microsoft Outlook contacts or have invested in an ATS, keeping your data well-formatted will save you money in the long run. Perhaps you’re a small to medium firm working with ACT or Goldmine – you may want to upgrade to a sophisticated ATS as your firm grows. Or maybe you already use an ATS, and have decided to switch the software you use. Maybe you’re a one-man firm and just want to sync your outlook contacts to your iTouch. Either way, your firm will absolutely benefit from clean, organized data in the event of data transfer, as well as in your day to day operations.


“According to Gartner Inc., more than 25 percent of critical data in Fortune 1000 companies is flawed.” – Swartz, Nikki

For large recruiting and staffing firms, dirty data can be quite costly.  Inaccurate, incomplete, and duplicate data compromises the quality of candidate matches, diminishes placement opportunities, and increases the expense of communicating with candidates and clients.  Eradicating data errors and standardizing the way data is entered at enterprise-level firms can significantly boost assets and productivity.


Large recruitment firms can add to their bottom line by:

  1. Regarding data as a corporate asset
  2. Entering data that is relevant and meets overall business goals
  3. Maintaining consistency in how data is entered
  4. Approaching clean data as an ongoing objective, and creating a company culture that recognizes the value of clean data


So, how do you keep your data well-groomed and happily maintained?

In the next post, Sendouts’ own data specialist, John Born, shares the lessons he has learned as a data conversion specialist that recruiters can keep in mind as they keep track of their candidates and clients.

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