5 Steps to Help Keep Your Corporate Database Up to Date
Managers, CEOs, and tech insiders all agree that we live in the era of big data. Whether you’re working in healthcare, financial services or manufacturing, chances are that many of your key operational processes depend on insights derived from your corporate database. Indeed, The International Data Corporation predicts investment in data analytics will have grown to a staggering $203 billion by 2020.
But while our ability to collect and compile data has grown exponentially, each corporate company database may offer very little actual value to the organizations that administer them. On average, up to 20% of the information contained within a corporate database is unsuitable for use. This so-called “dirty” data has real financial impact on your business. According to Sirius Decisions, just one bad record could cost you as much as $100.
Think about it, when your sales or support teams attempt to reach out to clients, how much time will they waste on correcting inaccurate, incomplete or redundant data? Apart from these inefficiencies, a poorly managed corporate company database will also be difficult to mine for analytics purposes. The end result is poorer customer service and less effective decision making. With that in mind, here are some critical steps that will help you clean and maintain your corporate business database.
Understand Your Objective
The sheer volume and variety of data flowing through the enterprise makes it difficult to determine what’s important and what isn’t. Many organizations react to these challenges by hoarding all of this data.
Of course, this will just make the task of cleaning and preparing your data even harder. So instead, you should design your corporate company database around specific business needs. For example, if you need to generate leads for your sales team, then you will need email addresses, phone numbers, and physical addresses to enable easy communication. Other data fields can be easily jettisoned or added in the form of notes to maintain the accuracy of your records.
Data cleaning is an ongoing task, not a one-time activity. When performing this task, you need to define which employees are responsible for carrying out regular maintenance. In some organizations, this task will fall to the marketing team who develops campaigns and other advertising initiatives around customer records. In other businesses, the IT team may take charge of corporate company database management.
Make Data Searchable
Metadata describes the unique identifying details associated with each data record. If you want to ensure that your employees can retrieve and access data with ease then you must maintain the accuracy of your metadata as well. This means assigning a unique tracking number to each record so that all changes can be documented and traced back to the original file. Data should also be dated so that subsequent users can identify when a record was last accessed or modified.
All data modifications should be performed in the same fashion across the organization. Users should be trained to enter dates, names, and addresses in a standardized format to ensure easy referencing.
Rely On the Experts
Unfortunately, as your organization grows you will need to dedicate more time and resources to maintaining the accuracy of your corporate business database. If you fail to tackle the issue in time, then you will find yourself dealing with a range of consequences including:
- Productivity losses as different departments are forced to rely on faulty data.
- Delayed billing cycles as accounting teams are furnished with incomplete and inaccurate order information.
- Inability to draw target specific segments and markets due to unstructured forms and information gathering processes.
- Outdated records that reduce the effectiveness of marketing and sales functions.
At Scott’s Directories, we operate one of the largest corporate company databases in Canada. Our database is immaculately maintained and populated with an extensive listing of B2B clients across a variety of industries. For a nominal subscription fee, you can gain access to key information about existing and potential clients, competitors and prospective partners including annual revenues, service offerings, size and historical details.
Our corporate business database is easily integrating into any existing analytics platform or CRM system and it can give you the information you need to drive better strategic decisions in marketing, sales, and manufacturing.