Data-driven organisations are 23 times more likely to acquire customers, six times as likely to retain them, and 19 times as likely to increase their profits1. For a Database Manager, this will be music to your ears. However, if your role is within a legal practice you may be aware that law firms are lagging behind other industries in terms of how they utilise data. Take a look below at some of the adverse effects that lacking data quality can have on legal practices.
1. Non-matched addresses
A non-matched address not only occurs when inputting erroneous data, but also when the address lookup facility lacks standardisation. For example, if you’re entering a client’s details in a free text format with no set entry terminology, mistakes are bound to happen. Non-matched addresses prevent you from proving an address exists, which can become problematic when legal documents are dependent on such information. If you’re experiencing address lookup problems such as these, improving your address validation system with a more standardised format will greatly impact the output data results.
2. GDPR infringement
Bad data can expose you to an increased risk of malpractice claims2. Solicitors deal with sensitive data as it is, therefore, it’s imperative your data is good quality. If your database contains incorrect information or inconsistencies, the company could face costly penalties. Since May 2018, almost £100 million in fines have been levied across Europe under strict new data protection laws3. Britain was the third worst offender in terms of the number of data breaches, measuring at 22,181.
In your role, you may already use the Royal Mail Postcode Address File (PAF) data to validate addresses. However, many houses of multiple occupancy can still be hard to highlight during an address search. Using additional PAF data will help you with compliance by producing more targeted mail with more sub-premise information, thus reducing the likelihood of GDPR infringement.
3. Ineffective services
Database managers are always on the lookout for ways to improve the effectiveness of the database tools they use. However, poor data quality is detrimental to this and can hinder the overall effectiveness of the services the company provide. Figures show that companies are losing 20-30% in revenue each year due to inefficiencies4, which can be a resulting effect of ineffective services. In order to combat this, both validating addresses in a standardised format and cleaning your data regularly will enhance the database and the firm’s corporate mission.
4. The solution
One of the best solutions to help you improve the quality of your database is Multiple Residence address data. Supplied by Royal Mail, this data set unleashes over 800,000 additional premises previously hidden behind closed doors. This provides access to sub-divided properties, sub lets, apartment blocks, halls of residence, and nursing homes. Having this additional information to hand will help law firms ensure messages gets to the right person, as well as reducing failed deliveries and complaints.
What’s more is that Hopewiser has elaborated on this data to provide clients with the highest possible match rate. To do this, we have blended Multiple Residence and PAF together, removing any conflicting data that would normally prevent an address from being validated.
To find out more about Hopewiser’s Multiple Residence solution, please get in touch today.
1 Why Is Law So Slow To Use Data? (Forbes 24th June 2019)
2 Why Law Firm Data Is So Important to the Success of Your Business (Lexicata 27th October 2016)
3 European fines for breaches of data protection hit £100m, law firm DLA Piper finds (The Times 20th January 2020)
4 How Inefficient Processes Are Hurting Your Company (Entrepreneur 8th December 2016)
, updated 19th April 2022.