RAAK_Blog-Header_ How to do an in-depth information & quality check on your email marketing database

Why visualizing your database is key

‘How big is your database?' No doubt you've been asked this question before. And evidently, this doesn't mean people are interested in the size of your database in bytes. They just want to know how many email addresses are in it. But when you think about it, how relevant is this question really?

The total number of email addresses… is this with or without unsubscribes? Does it take bounces into account? Should you separate inactive data and filter any rented or purchased data? ‘How big is your database?' turns out to be not such a simple question. To give a really simple example: an email database 10 times as large as the average database, but with a conversion rate of 0%, is not a good set of data.

When you truly want to find out the quality of your database, you could start calculating the customer lifetime value or the cost and revenue per contact. 

These are 2 great ways to measure data effectiveness, and another one is data visualization. This analysis makes you spot correlations in your database just by looking at it. Want to visualize your database? Get started with these 8 tips…

1)  Start by selecting the data you need. A difference between male and female is relevant, finding out the value of people who have 20 as a house number, is not.

2)  Make your data as complete as possible. This will simplify the analysis. An example is adding blank postal codes fields based on the city they live.

3)  Extract your data. Depending on the tool that you will be using you can choose the right format to extract.

4)  Choose your tool. For basic analysis plain Microsoft Office Excel should do the trick. However if you have larger sets of data and want to filter a lot, it's useful to look for a professional data analysis tool.

5)  Start uploading data. Make sure that you make no mistakes when mapping the fields.

6)  If you are using a professional tool, chances are that there are automated reports at hand.?

7)  Now you want to start visualizing your data. How you want to do this is up to you. You can use graphs, charts, maps, infographs, …

8)  The value step is starting to look for correlations between data. It's hard to tell where to start, as it differs from company to company. A good tip is to divide your database into segments based on demographic data, and figure out if a certain segment stands out for a specific reason.


Data visualization helps you understand the value of your database. And when done right, you'll discover significant trends and interesting opportunities.

Posted on
May 14, 2013