Value your Customer Data as a Business Asset

Private data is now a very public issue. For the first time in history, people recognise that businesses store their information and they want to know how – and why. They want to know why websites need their email address so badly, and they understand that private photos can be hacked. Privacy and security are legitimate concerns for everyone who hands over information about themselves. But some businesses don’t share that opinion. Or, if the business understands the value of data, it has yet to do anything about protecting it. Your business may have all kinds of excuses for this. Your CEO may think that data management is too expensive, or that workflows are too ingrained to be changed. You might think your business is too small to be hacked, or too big to be affected by a breach. But no matter how many excuses you have, your customers are getting smarter. They know the value of data, and they want to trust you to understand it too. Data Risks Data silos contain all kinds of data; some […]
By |March 4th, 2015|Blog, Data Quality|Comments Off

Do You Have a Love-Hate Relationship With Your Data?

Can’t live with it? Can’t live without it? Has your relationship with data seen better days? When the business is ticking over nicely, and data is fresh, everyone’s content and happy. They can get on with their work, free from the burden of decrepit databases and phone numbers that never connect. But then the honeymoon period ends, and the relationship needs work. It’s getting harder to email people. You’re always getting names wrong. And half of your mail comes back as returned to sender. Like Elvis’ love letter, your mail need not be sent back with an ‘address unknown’. Just as Valentine’s Day gave us all good excuse to nurture relationships and ensure their longevity, it gives us the opportunity to reflect on the way we relate to data, and whether we spend enough time on making sure it’s working for us. Invest in the Best Last weekend, the world spent around $13 billion on Valentine’s Day. We shopped for 180 million cards, bought 196 million roses and spent $2.2 billion on jewellery. Over a year, businesses spend a fraction of that amount on data quality initiatives – a […]
By |February 17th, 2015|Blog, Data, Data Quality|Comments Off

Using Customer Data? Start With Clean Data

Office, the high street shoe retailer, has had something of a lucky escape when it comes to its data quality. Last week, the Information Commissioner’s Office decided not to levy a fine on the company for a massive data leak, although luck had its part to play in the outcome In May 2014, hackers gained access to Office’s servers and stole customer information relating to more than a million past customers. Sensitive data, such as postal addresses, was exposed, and the hackers were also able to steal passwords from the database. Fortunately, none of this data appears to have been used for malicious purposes. For many businesses, the consequences of a hack are severe. Fines, bad publicity and compensation payments can have serious consequences for profitability. This is why master data management is a key concept in information security, and achieving a state of security and consistency is critical. Lucky Escapes The reason the Office hack was so serious was because the database was so large, and so old. It contained out of data, ‘dirty’ contact information – records that should have been deleted […]
By |January 27th, 2015|Blog, Data Cleansing|Comments Off
  • A Holistic Approach to Customer Relationship Management
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    What is CRM – A Holistic Approach to Customer Relationship Mangement

What is CRM – A Holistic Approach to Customer Relationship Mangement

What is CRM – A Holistic Approach to Customer Relationship Management In a recent blog article by Salesforce, they explain what a CRM system is and the impact of using a CRM system can have on businesses. “CRM helps organizations be more effective and efficient in their day-to-day tasks and assists them in reaching long-term business objectives and goals”. They go on to explain how technology for CRM systems has improved over the last couple of decades, allowing businesses to have access to powerful, comprehensive and affordable CRM systems. The purpose of the CRM systems is to facilitate more efficient communication with customers and leads, helping all participants complete transactions quickly. Even the most technically advanced CRM cannot achieve its goals if the data it holds is inaccurate. As we are all becoming aware, the data held in CRM systems is becoming one of the “Largest Assets” for businesses. Unless this data is maintained and treasured, businesses are at danger of their CRM systems failing and even the most technically advanced CRM cannot achieve its goals if the data it holds is […]
By |January 21st, 2015|Blog, Data Management, Data Quality|Comments Off

Is the Data in Your CRM a Ticking Time Bomb?

Customer relationship management (CRM) has moved from specialist term to buzzword, and now, into the core of business. According to a blog by Sugar CRM, about 15 million people used some kind of CRM system in 2012. The same blog says that large businesses were more likely to adopt CRM software first, since the potential benefits are so much greater. Gartner is well known for its predictions, and its analysis of the market is clear: the appeal of the CRM is growing, and smaller businesses are able to adopt the technology thanks to affordable pricing and cloud hosting. Gartner predicts that CRM software will grow at a rate of 14.8% through to 2017. That’s a lot of data being collected – and a huge potential for expense. Harvest Time The maturing CRM market is a reflection of our desire for data. Data lets us understand our customers, communicate more effectively with those customers, and segment them for more effective marketing. This is why many businesses harvest massive amounts of data about their customers and store it in their CRM, then leave […]
By |January 13th, 2015|Blog, Data Management, Data Quality|Comments Off

Data Quality Predictions For 2015

The champagne has been drunk, the mince pies are eaten and we’re packing away the Christmas baubles for another year. After a well-earned rest, thousands of businesses are returning to face the challenges that the New Year will bring to their business, and that means refocusing efforts on quality, usable data. But the world of IT rarely stands still, and 2015 will bring immense change that will intensify our use of data and change our dependence on it. New Years’ Resolutions Many of us put a few projects to one side last December, pledging to deal with them after the festive break. If you brushed your dirty data under the carpet before shutting shop, January is a good time to bring it out into the open for a spring clean. But before you begin, think about the way your use of data will change. Each year sees advancement in data and technology. This year, we’re looking at some big changes that will force businesses to broaden their scope and scale up their data quality assessments.
By |January 5th, 2015|Blog, Data Quality|Comments Off

Data is For Life, Not Just For Christmas

In 2013, UK households spent £22.3 billion on Christmas. This includes £599 per family, on average, spent purely on gifts. Clearly, there’s big money in this season, and every business is out for its slice of the pudding. The data you collect this Christmas will fuel your efforts in the year to come, and the quality of that data will influence your successes and failures. As such, it makes sense to collect that data properly, nurture it correctly and store it responsibly. As the years come and go, your data is certainly getting older, but are you getting any wiser? By next Christmas, almost one quarter of your database will be eroded unless you put a regime in place. Defining Quality, and Consequences We know data is of a good quality when it is fit for purpose. We need to have full confidence in it, and we need to be able to trust that data to support our profitability this Christmas and next. We need […]
By |December 17th, 2014|Blog, Data Cleansing, Data Quality|Comments Off

Is Your CRM Data the Elephant in the Room?

As businesses look to the year ahead, budgets are being finalised and strategy is being discussed. Inevitably, cost savings are on everyone’s mind, and money will be directed at keeping the lights on first. Beyond this, the business will look at operational efficiency, and look at ways of cutting costs and waste. The biggest productivity drain could be hiding away in your customer relationship management (CRM) system. Perhaps you’ve noticed it. Perhaps you daren’t mention it because you know it will be expensive. But your data quality could be the elephant in the room. Why Spend on Data? Data is the new oil. It flows through critical systems; it keeps cogs of your business moving freely from day to day. Data is as valuable and precious to your business as the black gold that powers vehicles and industry. Yet 22 per cent of businesses surveyed by Econsultancy said they suspected a problem with contact information in their database. It’s as though the […]
By |December 3rd, 2014|Blog, Data, Data Quality|Comments Off

Data Quality – The Secret Assassin of CRM?

Gartner says we spent $18 billion on CRM software in 2012, and $20.4 billion on CRM software in 2013. Its vice president of research, Joanne Correia, says that CRM “will be at the heart of digital initiatives in the coming years”. The future is bright for the industry, and businesses clearly see the benefit of CRMs: better returns, better staff morale, increased productivity. However, there’s a silent virus lurking in many CRMs. It’s a virus that slowly gets a foothold in the system, then slowly starts to deprive it of oxygen, choking it until it can no longer breathe. As the CRM starts to suffer, the business starts to falter. It wastes time and money, and it spends more and more time trying to stick a Band-Aid on the problem. So what is the virus? The secret assassin of the CRM? It’s poor quality data. Since the CRM system is simply a framework, the data within it holds the key to its success. Silent But Deadly Over time, as […]
By |November 18th, 2014|Blog, Data Quality|Comments Off

The Only Way to Save Your CRM From Failure

The Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system is now a central focus of many businesses. The CRM is responsible for holding contact details, communications, social media profile data and valuable leads – the data that sales teams live and breathe every day. In theory, the CRM acts as a colossal ‘brain’, or hub: an application everyone can dip into for data. Yet the CRM is, in itself, a framework: a holding bay for data. It cannot function if it is not populated correctly. Yes – everyone uses the CRM, but who owns it? Ask any user, and they will likely say: “not me”. The opposite is true. And here’s the challenge: up to 46 percent of CRM systems are failing. That’s a figure no sales department can work with. But there is one way to turn it around. Causes of CRM Failure CRM systems are central to productivity across organisations. They are also not cheap. Gartner estimates that the CRM industry was worth $18 billion in 2012, and will […]
By |November 4th, 2014|Blog, Data, Data Quality|Comments Off