Hating your data isn’t going to solve anything or help anyone. If it’s not working well for you then change it up. Detect the problem, solve it and you’ll be most appreciative of your data in no time.
So, what’s the problem?
- Data is fragmented
We live in a world where everything happens quickly. Phone calls are fast, deals are done quickly and you can microwave a decent dinner in under two minutes. It’s great when you want to get lots done but let’s focus in on phone calls and communications – quick contact often means that a lot of detail in missed and is either left blank in the database or filled in retrospectively with errors.
What if employees then gain more information later on and write it down in their notebook or in a spreadsheet they have created? That’s already two more data stores which are not connected to the original database. Sure, that person might know the customer inside out but if they decided to migrate to Hawaii, how would their replacement know what’s going on?
That’s the point. They wouldn’t.
So if a small company of 30 employees had one database and then various spreadsheets and notebooks containing other information – that’s a ridiculous amount of ‘databases’ for one company.
How can marketing send a targeted campaign to companies in Manchester if that field in the address is either blank, missed or in someone’s notebook somewhere? It’d be a tiresome job to root around for all the information so it’s either sent out to a few contacts, or the whole database is just blasted – leaving a bad taste in the recipients’ mouths.
What would be easier is to send the data in for cleansing – there it can be appended, formatted and corrected meaning all the details are there in the database which can be accessed by all employees – no more silos, notebooks (except for doodling) or spreadsheets. Plus you can get some technology too which for B2B companies is super helpful – it auto-populates company information just from an email address which is useful in this world where everyone wants things done this very minute.
- Data isn’t the real deal
Not the data’s fault. You update your phone software, otherwise you won’t trust it is safe from viruses (and you can’t Snapchat without the latest updates). You update your own appearance, otherwise you don’t trust you can look the best you can. So why won’t you update your data to ensure it provides the best information for communications?
Data goes out of data super quickly – it’ decays at a rate of roughly 20-24% each year and with people changing addresses, moving jobs, passing away etc. it really does pay to have a database which has been screened and corrected regularly. I bet you didn’t know that every month 500,000 people in the UK move house, 50,000 people pass away, 40,000 addresses are changed by the Royal Mail, 20,000 people sign up to The Mailing Preference Service and 475,000 company and individual details change.
So an uncleansed database isn’t the real deal, but a clean one is – not only will communications blossom, you’ll be compliant too and then, and only then, can you trust your database.
- Data is dull
Data is only ever dull if you don’t do anything with it. Even then it’s more of a diamond in the rough and just needs polishing up to be wonderful. If you think data is dull then I’m quite surprised as there’s nothing boring about opportunity. Reports might be a bit well… dreary (except our data quality reports – informative and interactive!) but what you can do with a rich database is pretty exciting – think of the profiling, shared access, targeted campaigns and how awesome the level of communication will be if every detail of every contact/company is right there in the CRM. Trust me when I say that once you start reaping the benefits, good quality data will be paramount in your day to day operations.
Just three short points really regarding why people don’t enjoy their data and three short solutions to these problems. Just remember, there’s never any ‘bad data’ just out of date or incomplete data. Make data work for you.