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Performing a data cleanse and data checks


Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic many organisations have realised how important it is to have good clean and accurate data. When situations change rapidly and you need to get in touch with everyone quickly an up-to-date database is vital. In this post we answer a few questions about completing a data cleanse and performing data checks.

Important fields to check

  1. Names and addresses: Often people submit just a first name and email address and in some instances this is fine, but when you are adding data or transactions to a contact how do you know one Anne from another Anne, especially for contact tracing? Having a surname at least helps.

  2. Accurate email addresses: This is important so you can be reasonably confident your email is getting through and not going into spam, or being bounced. How many are still sending emails to old and out-of-date providers, such as Paradise or Vodafone? Read more on Getting emails through.

  3. Accurate phone numbers: An email may not always be appropriate so an accurate phone number is required to send text messages or phone calls.

  4. Other: There may be other fields and data that is applicable to the service you provide, e.g. Guardian or emergency contact details, connections with carers and support workers or other members of the household.

  5. Duplicates: You may sometimes have duplicates added through an import process or through lack of diligence or information, not knowing if this Anne is the same as that Anne.

Performing a data check

The best way is to run a report selecting the criteria you want to check and either download them as CSV or Excel. Visually check, particularly for duplicates and missing data, then make corrections.

More information: infoodle Help – Reports

Alternatively, you can use the Advanced search feature under People & Organisations. (This can be a saved report). This option means you can stay on the report but make changes to people’s details right away.

More information: infoodle Help – Advanced search

Data Check Forms

You can create an infoodle form and include all the fields you want to check on and ask your community to complete the form. The form can be accessed via a link in your website, Phone app, or a link in an email, assuming you have their correct email address! Or the form can be completed by a member of staff or volunteer from the form page in your infoodle site. Any changes will then be automatically updated when the form is processed.

More information: infoodle Help – Forms

Involvement & Groups

There may be other areas you want to check. For example you may be recording people’s involvement through groups, if they are no longer involved you can “Past member” them rather than remove them from the group. This means you can make them active again in the future or be able to include them in end of year reporting.

More information: Removing people from a group

Groups can also be Hibernated or Expired so they are no longer your group list page, but can easily be made active again and none of the history is lost.

More information: Hibernating groups

Archiving Contacts

When finding contacts who are no longer involved or are duplicated you may want to archive them. We recommend archiving rather than deleting as sometimes people return, or you need to include them in reports, tax receipt or gift aid claim, or see who was a part of a household etc. Once a contact is deleted, there is no getting the data back. Archiving also helps keep you within your contact price band as archived contacts are not counted.
There are, no doubt, more fields unique to your organisation so if you need some help, please do not hesitate to contact us at