Global Data Quality

Global Data Quality~by Paul Harris, Sales & Marketing

In the data driven world of global business, it’s never been more important for business to have a single-accurate-view of their customers. In order to sell effectively, your global data quality should be precise. Good data will provide an understanding of your customer’s needs, concerns and challenges.  We call this single accurate view of your customer the “golden master record.”

The path to achieving a golden master record database is often not an easy one to pursue. Over and over again, we work with clients that have many challenges with their global database. Many organizations have millions of records stored in disparate databases, managed by separate silos of their business who don’t coordinate well (or at all) with each other. On top of this problem, the data is quickly becoming dirtier and dirtier. Can we provide a statistic for erosion of quality? SiriusDecisions estimates that B2B contacts become obsolete because of people changing jobs and companies at a rate of 2-3% per month, creating a constant stream of inaccurate contact data .

Customer data changes rapidly as names, addresses, phone numbers and other essential contact information changes. In a blink of an eye, data is inaccurate, unreliable and the client feels stuck at square one, with nowhere to go.

Are you currently pursuing (or thinking about pursuing) a project to consolidate and create a functional golden master record database for your global business? Here’s our three top reasons why global database(s) projects will be a major pain in the ass as you begin your journey towards getting the golden records you need to help your business succeed.


  1. No Global Experts on the Team

Global Data is…well… global! Different languages, customs, alphanumeric characters, currencies and traditions will quickly invade your database causing a major mess. Chances are your organization does not have a person on staff who understands all the technical and cultural idiosyncrasies that are needed to begin building a quality database. Often times, data quality (DQ) projects fail right at the beginning because it’s so difficult to know where to even begin! Without a global data expert on your team, your team will be put in a situation where the blind is leading the blind. Trust us- you’ll walk straight into a concrete wall.


  1. Marketing vs IT vs. Sales vs C-Suite Department- Who owns the Database?

Who’s responsible for your global database? Should the IT department own it? After all, they are the ones who implement, troubleshoot and manage your customer relationship management (CRM) system? Does the marketing and sales team own the database? They are the ones on the front lines working with the data updating, importing and exporting it every day. Or do the CEO’s own the database. These folks use it to drive major decision making for the business and (obviously) they are in charge! It should be no surprise here that the answer is EVERYONE has equal stake in data ownership.

Often times, the problem is that different departments don’t play nice. The IT team wants the CRM database to be used exactly how they set it up. The sales folks want the database to be easily imported, exported and updated and the CEO’s just want the whole damn thing to work so they can focus on making more $$$.

In order to begin a global data quality project all departments and stakeholders must be at the table.


  1. No Quality at the Source

As the old saying goes, garbage in-garbage out. Most data quality (DQ) issues begin at point of capture. That is, where is your data coming from? Who’s inputting it and is this data collected in a smart, safe system that helps you provide value to your customer? Quality at the source has been used very successfully by a wide variety of manufacturing operations striving to improve quality throughout business processes. Moving quality assessment and improvement processes to the front end of any business process is an excellent way to gain substantial improvements in quality. By assessing and improving data quality before the data is captured and stored in a database, marketers can ensure that they are benefiting from the highest quality data possible. Quality at the source is no easy task when you collect  contact data from a global scale.


Does this sound like you? Are you struggling to manage all your global data and make sense of it all? We would love to hear about your golden master record successes and failures. Maybe we can help you or direct you to some resources who can help.



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