Do You Trust Your Data?
The data collected by the business becomes its lifeblood, and its accuracy can directly affect day-to-day operations. Good data is extremely valuable. Poor data is costly. Marketing and sales teams become increasingly dependent on the integrity of data, and that means it has to be trustworthy.
Many companies are moving towards a single customer view, where data from a range of sources is pooled and used to create a complete operational database. In order for that database to be useful to the business, it needs to be robust and well maintained.
When Data is Trustworthy
So how do we define trust in terms of data? There are a number of criteria we could apply. But overall, trustworthy data should primarily meet the demands of the business, whatever those demands may be.
Some examples include the ways data is used:
- It should support employees in their role. For example, a CRM system should support sales teams effectively, and the contents should be up to date.
- It should be reliable enough for staff not waste resources; they should not need to question its contents or spend time on manual verification. This inspires better communication with the customer, and that’s vital in customer service.
- It should promote the right kind of relationships with the customer, promoting effective marketing, communications and support. That helps the customer to feel valued through the entire sales lifecycle.
- It should be complete and consistent, without duplicates, missing fields or stale entries. Customers who ask to be removed from the database should be promptly removed; likewise, any data that’s proven to be out-dated should be dealt with.
No database will naturally maintain itself, so the business will need to invest in on-going data quality work. This means investing in software that can match duplicate entries, remove invalid entries and ensure the database is as usable today as it was on the day the entries were added.
Data quality software can also remove records associated with people who have passed away or moved house, thus helping to reduce costs.
Data That Can’t Be Trusted: the Consequences
Damaged relationships with customers – for many businesses, this is one of the main reasons for using deduplication software. Brands feel that the relationship they have with their clients depends upon a respect for information held about them. This means the business has an obligation to proactively keep its data up to date.
If a database is allowed to decay, inefficiency and inaccuracy set in. In some departments, such as marketing, costs spiral out of control as untrustworthy data is used for campaigns, mailouts and sales activity. Incorrect decisions are made and productivity drops.
Do you trust your data? If not, it’s time to do something about it. Otherwise, your business may bear witness to how quickly the rot can set in.