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Alpha Software Blog

Bad Data Costs You a Lot More than You Realize

Bad data can cost your company tremendous amounts of money – up to $10 per record. You can solve the problem by digitizing paper-based forms and workflows.

How much is bad data costing your company? Not much, you probably think. There’s probably not much bad data, you figure, so it’s not a significant issue. Just do a bit of cleanup, and you’re done. Not much to affect the bottom line.

A new study from the data quality company Melissa, “The Real Cost of Bad Data” shows how wrong you are. It warns that “the real cost of bad data are eye opening.”

It starts by claiming, to use one example, that a full 20% of information about customers gathered by helpdesk staff is incorrect. Melissa estimates that initially verifying the accuracy of information entered into a database costs one dollar per record. The money goes towards paying staff, using a validation solution, and the cost of running computers to do that analysis.

That might not sound like much. But that one dollar figure is misleading Melissa notes. If batch processing is used to handle data validation, the costs go way up due to the additional work of deduping, batch processing and data so malformed it was missed by the initial validation. When you add that in, it comes to $10 per record.

But even that vastly underestimates the costs of bad data, according to the company. If companies don’t have mechanisms in place to check for bad data, the costs skyrocket. The company claims that the cost is a full $100 per record “due to misplaced shipments, returned mail and lost marketing opportunities.” if data isn’t checked. In other words, you’ll be losing revenue and spending tremendous amounts of money in the shipping process and in lost revenue.

What does all this mean? That if you don’t catch bad data, it will cost you $100 for each piece of bad data that comes through.

The SD Times puts it this way: “In the world of data, inaccurate inputs can cost a company not only time to repair, but it can mean lost revenue due to the inability to reach customers and prospects.”

The most cost-effective solution to all this is to use digital forms to make sure that data is captured properly in the first place. That $100 cost per record goes away. I’ve written about this in the past, in my blog post, “Why Go Paperless? Benefits Of Mobile Forms.”

In that post, I pointed to Cost Analysis of Paper and Digital Forms by Repsly and other studies that show just how much money you can save by going paperless. You can improve productivity, cut down the cost of bad data, reduce paperwork and more. Digitizing paper-based workflows, by building powerful mobile forms apps, saves time and reduces costs.

Ron Cogburn, CEO of Exela Technologies sums up the costs of paper forms and the benefits of digital forms this way in a Forbes blog post:

“Paper-based forms, records, and other workflows move slowly, take up a lot of space and require a lot of labor to manage. On the other hand, these same documents can be scanned, and the data within them can be extracted, indexed, organized and securely stored with minimal human intervention.”

The Best Way to Reduce Paperwork and Bad Data

Mobile and digital forms can save companies a tremendous amount of money and can also help them operate more efficiently and find new revenue streams. You'll need the right mobile forms software builder to build forms for any mobile device and finally go paperless.

Alpha TransForm is ideal for the task because it offers the development speed of mobile forms products with the power of low-code development platforms. Users can be confident they're building enterprise apps that will never run out of power.

Alpha TransForm helps business users or developers craft online or offline mobile apps in minutes that utilize the latest mobile features (camera, GPS, etc.) for fast, accurate data capture (think inspection forms, patient intake forms, etc.). Alpha TransForm apps can be modified and updated in minutes, to quickly respond to business or field needs.

Learn more about Alpha TransForm and try it free with sample apps for 30 days.

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The Alpha platform is the only unified mobile and web app development and deployment environment with distinct “no-code” and “low-code” components. Using the Alpha TransForm no-code product, business users and developers can take full advantage of all the capabilities of the smartphone to turn any form into a mobile app in minutes, and power users can add advanced app functionality with Alpha TransForm's built-in programming language. IT developers can use the Alpha Anywhere low-code environment to develop complex web or mobile business apps from scratch, integrate data with existing systems of record and workflows (including data collected via Alpha TransForm), and add additional security or authentication requirements to protect corporate data.