4 mins

What is data deduplication, and what are the benefits?

What is data deduplication, and what are the benefits?

Gathering customer data is critical to help you better understand your customers and business. The better your data quality, the more you can get out of it. That’s why data duplication is essential. In this blog, we’ll explain what data deduplication is, how it works, and its benefits for efficient data management.

Duplicate data is a common issue for businesses across all industries. When your data comes from multiple sources – such as website forms, spreadsheets, and ad tracking – it is easy to end up with numerous instances of the same data.  

So, which version of the data do you use as the source of truth?

That’s why it’s essential to clean your data using data deduplication.    

What is data deduplication?

Data deduplication is deleting excessive or redundant copies of data to optimise your data storage and improve your data quality.  

Data deduplication ensures that each data entity, such as a customer or product, is uniquely represented. Rather than storing multiple copies of the same data, deduplication stores only one instance and creates references to it when needed. As a result, it eliminates inconsistencies between different instances of the same data.  

For example, you might have customer data that’s duplicated because of this:  

Belinda Jones 
Jones Belinda 

This makes it tough to search for the most up-to-date customer details. Now imagine if your entire database looks like this. That’s where data deduplication becomes a valuable tool.  

How does data deduplication work? 

Data duplication involves four steps:

Chunking: The data is divided into small chunks or segments.  

Hashing: Each data chunk is assigned a unique identifier, or ‘hash’, based on its content. 

Comparative analysis: The hashes are compared to identify identical chunks of data.  

Elimination: If a match is found, duplicate data chunks are replaced with a pointer, leaving behind only unique information.  

This process can be automated using data deduplication software or apps.

Data deduplication vs compression

What’s the difference between data deduplication and compression? Data deduplication and data compression are both essential methods to reduce storage capacity and improve your data health.  

Data compression reduces the length or size of data, compressing files into the smallest possible amount of stored bits. Sophisticated algorithms remove unnecessary fillers and spaces in your data while maintaining the same meaning of the information. This enables you to optimise the available disk space and save costs while preserving overall data integrity.  

Data deduplication instead focuses on finding and replacing duplicate data, leaving only one unique instance. This significantly reduces the data size and results in healthier data overall.  

Data deduplication benefits

Data deduplication has many benefits, including better quality data, reduced data storage costs and improved analytics. Here are some of the big ones:

 

1. Better customer experience

The central benefit of deduplication is ensuring you have an accurate representation of each entity. This is especially valuable for customer data. Great customer data enables excellent marketing. With a complete and trusted view of customer data, you can ensure customers get the best experience with your business.  

2. Lower data storage costs 

The more data you gather, the more you pay for data storage. So, any size reductions can significantly reduce storage costs. Data deduplication results in smaller data sizes, which reduces data storage and hosting costs.

3. Improved analytics  

Cleaner data due to data deduplication enables improved analytics and this in turn leads to better-informed decisions.  

4. Improved performance and efficiency 

Data deduplication improves system performance, speeding up data retrieval and enhancing overall system responsiveness. Data can be transferred over networks more efficiently which reduces transfer times and bandwidth usage.  

5. Seamless disaster recovery 

Data deduplication can streamline your disaster recovery processes. When faced with data loss, restoring smaller, deduplicated datasets and minimising disruptions is faster and easier.

Take control of your data today

Data deduplication is a strategic approach to good data management and is essential for any enterprise. It streamlines operations, drives cost efficiencies and ensures you always work with the best possible data quality even as your business continues to grow.  

Take control of your data with Loqate. Get in touch to speak to one of our data deduplication experts.