10 Reasons How Duplicate Data Harms Your Business

By: Published: April 5, 2022

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Companies are exploring Big Data in a bid to deliver a positive experience to their customers across many channels. They have put in place different ways of collecting data about products, consumers, operations, and more. The data is normally generated by daily business operations or obtained from external sources. Incorrect data about consumers, products, and operations can hurt a company in different ways. Thus, before using data, a company must ensure the accuracy of the data by employing data hygiene.

What is Duplicate data meaning? One of the major challenges with data today is the issue of duplicate data. Data aggregation and human typing errors are some of the sources of duplicate data. Customers may also provide a company with different information at different points in time. Hence, businesses should consider removing duplicate records from their Database. In this article, you’ll be taken through the top reasons why duplicate data can harm your business.

Table of Contents

Understanding Duplicate Data

Duplicate Data
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Duplicate data is any record that inadvertently shares data with another record in a Database. Duplicate data is easy to spot and it mostly occurs when transferring data between systems. 

The most popular occurrence of duplicate data is a complete carbon copy of a record. Partial duplicates are also common in organizations. These are records with the same Name, Email, Phone Number, or Address, but with other non-matching data. If not dealt with, duplicate records can be harmful to your business.

Duplicate records make your data dirty. Any reports generated from such data will not be accurate, hence, businesses cannot rely on them to make sound decisions. Now, let’s discuss how duplicate data harms your business.

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How does Duplicate Data harm your Business?

How Duplicate Data Harms your Business?
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The following are the problems created by duplicate data.

Lost Income and Wasted Costs

When expressed in monetary terms, duplicate records incur a significant cost. Consider the wasted costs of sending the same catalog many times to one person. Your company will also waste money on duplicate print and postages costs, which has a negative impact on the response rate and overall ROI of the marketing activities. Thus, companies should prevent duplication of records in their CRM

Lack of a Single Customer View

With more than one record for a customer, it may be difficult to get the correct picture of a customer and his behavior. Since each interaction with customers will be recorded against different records, it will be difficult to know the communication that has taken place and determine if there are any outstanding actions. This will make it hard for the company to understand its customers better, which may hinder activities like targeted marketing.

Lack of Personalization

Customer personalization is very important to every business. If you don’t do it, you will lose customers to your competitors. Duplicated records will reduce the confidence that you have in your data, making it difficult to implement personalization in your business. Personalization requires clean and accurate data. Implementing personalization with inaccurate data is worse than having it at all.

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Ineffective Customer Service

Duplicate Data: Poor Customer Service
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Duplicated records will make it hard for the customer support team to get to the bottom of a customer issue if there are many records and different actions against them. It will negatively affect every interaction with your customers from conversations with your Customer Support Teams and Sales Messaging. Customers in need of personalized customer service may turn to your competitors for better services.

Inaccurate Reporting

Good reporting requires accurate data that is free of duplicates. Duplicate data inhibits this. Reports generated from duplicate records are less reliable and cannot be used to make informed decisions. The business will also find it difficult to forecast what it should do for future growth.

Lost Productivity

Duplicate data means that the technical staff in your company will spend time trying to fix it. Although it’s a good thing, they will take too much time to fix it by hand. Using Excel formulas to identify and fix duplicate records is difficult and time-consuming, and only helps the team to identify a portion of duplicate records. 

If the Database has tens of thousands of records, the team may take up to a week trying to clean the data. This time should have been spent doing something else. At the same time, they will miss some duplicate records and delete good data by mistake.

Harms Brand Perception

Duplicate records come with a lot of mistakes, and this has an impact on how customers and prospects perceive your brand. Sending the same customer the same message more than once is annoying and can alter how the customer sees your business. When you send messages to your prospects with inaccurate data, your automation efforts will become transparent before their eyes. Customers love personalization, but only when it’s invisible, and for it to be invisible, it must be right. 

Duplicate data affect the messages your prospects receive as customers. As the small mistakes add up with time, customers will feel like they have been overlooked by your company, and you may lose them to other brands.

Storage Costs

Duplicate records can take up a lot of space, which can increase storage costs depending on the type of data that you store. Consider an Email attachment of 1 MB that was sent by 100 individuals within your company. 100 instances of the attachment will require 100 MB of storage space. Only one instance of the attachment should be stored.

Confusion among Customers

Duplicate records mean inaccurate personalization, which actively confuses your customers. When you send messages to your customers using inaccurate data, your Customer Support Team will have to respond to many questions from confused customers. These customers will feel that they need to provide additional information or they have skipped a critical step.

Missed Sales Opportunities

Data with duplicate records can lead to lost sales opportunities. The company team spends too much time following wrong prospects instead of interacting with the right prospects who can be converted into sales. 

That is how duplicate data harms your business.


This is what you’ve learned in this article:

  • Businesses are increasingly relying on Big Data to offer a positive experience to their customers. 
  • One of the major challenges associated with Big Data is duplicate data, which occurs when a record shares data with another record in a database. 
  • There are many sources of duplicate records including customers who provide inaccurate information, typing errors, errors when aggregating data, and more. 
  • Duplicate data harms your business in different ways, thus, it should be dealt with by employing data hygiene. 

However, it’s easy to become lost in a blend of data from multiple sources. Imagine trying to make heads or tails of such data. This is where Hevo comes in.

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Share your experience of understanding the adverse effects of duplicate data in the comments section below.

Nicholas Samuel
Freelance Technical Content Writer, Hevo Data

Skilled in freelance writing within the data industry, Nicholas is passionate about unraveling the complexities of data integration and data analysis through informative content for those delving deeper into these subjects. He has written more than 150+ blogs on databases, processes, and tutorials that help data practitioners solve their day-to-day problems.

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