Market Development & Strategy
Leader, Master Data
Dun & Bradstreet
Just like poor health, bad data can lead to serious problems for you and your
peers. Erroneous definitions, a lack of internal standards, disparate data sources
and multiple workflows can inhibit growth and lead to stress and frustration. But
there is a cure.
Good data, like good health, takes the proper management. It’s not easy. Let’s
take your customer data in multiple departments (Sales, Marketing, Finance, etc.)
different geographies (local, regional, global, etc.) a myriad of systems (ERP,
CRM, MDM, MarTech, AdTech, etc.), if you are like most enterprises, you have
very few healthy standards and could use a solid dose of well-mastered data.
Good data management can’t start until you realize you actually need it. We have
identified the five stages you must enter to curb data (anger) management and
achieve a renewed sense of data serenity.
“This can’t be happening!”
Your head of sales may definitely state, “We know our customers better than anyone else.” Being close to your
customers does not mean that your customer data is close to accurate. Can you easily answer questions like
“Who are my top customers?” Your master file is a slave to your own lack of consistency. How many ways
do you identify Wal-Mart? - Wal*Mart, Wal Mart, Wal-mart, Walmart, WM? It’s time to face it…head on.
“Who did this?”
Trying to track the multiple trade styles of a global client or seeing 100 variations of a customer name
would get anyone upset. Before you rip your team apart, please realize they are torn between data maintenance
and moving product. As their superior, what gets you angrier — low data quality –– or low volume?
“We can fix it ourselves.”
“We can put in a stewardship program,” you think. Many others do, too. Go on and deploy your resources to formalize
a strategic plan to ensure everyone inputs the word “STREET” the same way. Now, there’s a real value-added activity.
Meanwhile, your competition is out increasing market share. Do you want good spelling –– or good selling?
“This is a disaster!”
The more customers you have and the more data inputs you gather, the bigger the problems. Nothing
feels worse than customers telling you that your view of them is wrong. They want you to have a hierarchy
that reflects the way they view themselves. But you don’t, and gee, it just never seems to be right. Bummer.
“OK, we need help.”
Life is moving too fast. Thousands of companies open and close each month. Hierarchies and relationships
change constantly. You can’t keep up. I know, I know. Reach out to those who understand your situation.
They’ve been there. We know your pain.