Incorrect data can cost businesses a great deal of time and money. A small proportion of invalid data in a company database can cause a disproportionately large number of problems.
Take banking data for example. Bank sort codes and account numbers are required for Direct Debit collection, payroll processing and many other important business functions.
Most businesses usually submit banking data to the BACS clearing system in large batches. Any incorrect sort codes or account numbers will be rejected at this stage and must be corrected.
This is where the problems really begin. The bank data may have been submitted by a customer some time ago. This person must now be traced and contacted to obtain the correct information, before the BACS data can be rectified and resubmitted.
It has been estimated by the Association of Payment Clearing Services (APACS) that each individual error of this nature costs approximately £50 to rectify.
Clearly it is important to validate data and the best time to do this is at the point of entry to your systems.
This in itself can pose problems for conventional validation software as a business may collect customer data by several means, for example via the company web site or over the telephone. Getting a conventional validation solution to work across a range of platforms can be expensive and time consuming to implement.
Next generation validation applications such as Unified Software’s BankVal UK web service can provide an answer, allowing real time validation to take place no matter how the data is being gathered, be it via a web form, CRM system or even a spreadsheet.
So although the need for validation remains as strong as ever, modern web service validation applications make it easier and more flexible than ever before and at a cost which is affordable to businesses of all sizes.