What is the Difference Between Data and Information?

What is the Difference Between Data and Information? When discussing data quality, we need to understand exactly what we mean by the word data. Often, the words information and data are used interchangeably, yet they are not the same thing.   Data is, or are (depending on your knowledge of Latin), fundamental to business intelligence. But how do we recognise data as data – and why is bad data such a pernicious entity? First Things First: Data vs Information There’s a really simple way to understand the difference between data and information. When we understand the primary function of the item we are looking at, we quickly see the distinction between the two. Here’s a simple way to tell one from the other: Computers need data. Humans need information. Data is a building block. Information gives meaning and context. In essence, data is raw. It has not been shaped, processed or interpreted. It is a […]

Data Quality and Privacy Go Hand In Hand

Data Quality and Privacy Go Hand In Hand Personal data is vital to every business. Without it, the business cannot contact the customer. They cannot refer back to previous transactions. Data is essential in helping us to buy and trade. From this information, the business can see patterns in the customer’s buying behaviour. By segmenting databases with hundreds or thousands of records, data reveals how customers behave on a larger scale. Any time a business collects data about a person, it must be upfront about its use. The Data Protection Act prevents the unauthorised sharing of personal data, and most of us expect businesses to treat our personal information as private. High profile uses of data often raise eyebrows. The NHS recently announced that it would sell anonymised patient data, an activity that many privacy campaigners are uneasy about. However, as we enter a new age of smart services, our personal data will inevitably travel further and be used in ways it has never […]

What Sherlock Holmes Teaches Us About Data Quality

What Sherlock Holmes Teaches Us About Data Quality  “Data! Data! Data! I can’t make bricks without clay.” Sir Arthur Conan Doyle understood the importance of logic when it comes to solving a mystery. In The Adventure of the Copper Beeches, his character, Sherlock Holmes, becomes frustrated at a lack of detail that makes his decision-making process impossible. In effect, Holmes requires concrete facts to solve the mystery presented by Miss Hunter’s job offer from Mr Rucastle. Holmes’ exclamation is one of the best-known lines that Conan Doyle ever wrote, and that may be because of its wide-ranging appeal. In the modern world, the need for accuracy is as relevant as it was in the author’s era. Businesses must locate good quality information to make effective decisions, and for precisely the same reasons as Sherlock Holmes. Detecting Data Quality Problems In order to move a business forward, its management team must analyse its current position (financial, strategic etc), and use that analysis as the basis of a plan. Accurate, timely data forms the basis of […]

Bad Data? Bad CRM – Bad Decisions

Bad Data? Bad CRM – Bad Decisions Data quality is not just about good intentions. It’s about constant effort – and a helping hand from your data quality software. In this article, we’ll look at a tale of three companies. Let’s call them NoDQ, LowDQ and HighDQ.   The Story NoDQ had no data quality policy in place. Its database was riddled with errors, and many customers were recorded more than once. Some data was muddled; some was incomplete. NoDQ customers would call and ask that their data was recorded, but telephone handlers made mistakes. The company’s sales department blamed the telephone handlers and made no effort to contact the leads, resulting in lower income and wasted opportunities. Morale was low; profits were lower still. LowDQ, the second company, recognised that data quality is a pressing issue in business. It had a policy in place that helped staff to recognise poor quality data, and the business was actively involved in a drive to […]

It’s Time to Spring Clean Your Business Data

It’s Time to Spring Clean Your Business Data The sun is shining, the rainwater is finally drying up and it’s time to think about a fresh start for spring. For business, this means taking steps to tackle poor quality data so that you can make 2014 truly successful. In this article, we’ll look at some small steps you can make towards cleaner data, and some good reasons to prioritise data quality challenges.The sun is shining, the rainwater is finally drying up and it’s time to think about a fresh start for spring. For business, this means taking steps to tackle poor quality data so that you can make 2014 truly successful. What to Do With Dirty Data In our blog, we often speak about poor quality data. We try to emphasise the importance of keeping on top of the problem. The longer you leave data without maintenance, the worse state it will be in when you come to tackle it.

The Ultimate Guide to the Single Customer View

The Ultimate Guide to the Single Customer View Many DQ Global® clients are looking to achieve a single customer view when they approach us for help. What does the concept mean? Achieving a single customer view is a process where a business consolidates all of the data about a customer into a single record. That benefits everyone, as we’ll see in this article. But first, let’s look at the basics. The single customer view sounds like a great idea, but how do we get there? Is it realistic to expect one record to hold absolutely everything we need to know? And what happens when we’ve created the database we’ve been planning for? Is the Single Customer View Achievable? Sceptics believe that the single customer view is a utopian concept that few businesses will ever realise. That’s simply because every part of the business needs a slightly different type of data, and it’s sometimes difficult to see […]

Unlock the Value in your MS Dynamics CRM Data

Unlock the Value in your MS Dynamics CRM Data On the 13th of November we will be hosting a Webinar entitled “How to Match, Perfect & Merge™  Dynamics CRM Records”               Using our NEW Perfect & Merge™ Tool, we will demonstrate how to identify, perfect and merge duplicates. Our Software will help you: Identify Duplicates Select a Master Record Merge Data from duplicates to perfect the Master Update CRM to create a Single Customer View Register for the webinar to see how you can “Unlock the Value of the Data” in your CRM system. This event is no longer available.  

Perfecting and Merging in CRM Systems

Perfecting and Merging in CRM Systems Customer relationship management (CRM) systems are the cornerstone of business interactions. Using a CRM, businesses can keep track of their clients and leads, automate their workflow and improve customer service. The CRM is effectively the data hub for the entire organisation. Microsoft Dynamics is one of the most versatile and powerful CRM tools on the market. Its cloud-based infrastructure makes it accessible and affordable, and it can pull together data from sales representatives, customer care teams, marketing departments and social media gurus. But with a wealth of data comes the inevitable challenge of duplication and error. And in a busy organisation, a CRM is only useful as long as the data is fresh and accurate. So how can CRM data be perfected? And how affordable is it to keep the data in good order? Perfecting and Merging CRM Data DQ Global® has just unveiled its brand new Perfect & Merge™ tool for Microsoft Dynamics CRM and other popular […]

How to Build Trust With Your Existing Customers

How to Build Trust With Your Existing Customers When businesses plan their marketing strategy, they often focus on enticing new customers. While there’s nothing wrong with growing the customer base, it’s a good idea to work hard on retaining existing customers as well. On average, an existing customer is three times more likely to buy from you than a new prospect, making the ROI far more attractive. Data quality is one of the core principles that will help you maintain a long-term relationship with your existing customers. By crafting a quality database and spending time on maintaining the integrity of the data, you’ll reassure your customers that you take their privacy concerns seriously. You’ll also be armed with a wealth of useful information about your customers  – information that you know is accurate and reliable. Compile a Mailing List If you don’t already have a list of existing customers, you can build one from the databases you already […]

How to Harness the Power of the Postcode

How to Harness the Power of the Postcode In business, companies have a duty to ensure customer data is up to date. Not only is this a basic matter of customer service, it’s also a legal issue, since a failure to protect customers’ details could violate the law. One of the key pieces of data businesses hold about customers – and suppliers – is their postcode. In this article, we’ll look at how the Royal Mail’s Postcode Address File (PAF) system is helping businesses improve data quality, customer service and a healthy return on investment. What is Address Management?  Before looking at postcodes, we need to understand what address management is and why businesses care so much about it. In short, address management is a process whereby customers’ details are reviewed and updated on an ongoing basis. This helps the company to gain the customer’s trust, and it dramatically improves brand image. […]