Active Data Quality: Keeping Up with Customers Is Not a Static Process

Your customers are not a static picture, and your data shouldn’t be either. Up to 25 percent of your “people data” (name, address, email, phone) decays every year because your customers are active, living their lives. They change jobs, move residences, marry, divorce, and retire. For instance, over 14 percent of Americans move each year; that’s as many as 40 million people who could represent an important part of your audience or customer base.

To contend with this high level of data decay, your CRM solution needs to employ active data quality to ensure customer data is accurate, up to date, and relevant. For users of comprehensive CRM solutions like Microsoft Dynamics and Salesforce.com, this means capitalizing on active data quality operations that can be dropped right into the platform. These processes are critical drivers of Know Your Customer (KYC) initiatives, which can mean anything from understanding your customer’s buying habits to preventing fraud to ensuring regulatory compliance. Being able to identify and rely on the contact data you have is at the heart of it all, empowering all aspects of CRM.

Defining Active Data Quality

Active data quality leverages constantly updated, authoritative reference data to ensure your customer records are cleansed, verified, and enriched—and it is this updated reference data that holds the key. Data remains consistently actionable and insightful for business needs, capitalizing on active data quality’s ability to match records against comprehensive, multisourced data sets of billions of records, including USPS and international postal data, census data, telco data sets, GPS data, property and title information, and much more. As incoming records are entered, contact data like postal addresses, email addresses, names, and telephone numbers can be verified in real time, at point of entry. Even customer identity can be verified in real time by cross-matching a name with an address, a verifying national ID, or a Social Security number; tapping into caller ID to confirm the customer is the account owner; validating an email address actually exists; and using geolocation data to reduce fraud. 

Active Data Quality in Context

Active data quality fosters two key aspects of data quality in CRM environments. First, ideal data verification must occur automatically at the point of data entry to ensure excellent customer service and communications. Secondly, data quality enhancements generally improve customer relationships based on better customer profiles. The value is both immediate and long-term, uplifting global customer communications from the start of a customer relationship and keeping businesses poised for the most powerful analytics based on long-term data accuracy and more complete information. A look at primary data quality operations illustrates these concepts.

Data Validation

Address autocompletion tools support accuracy and efficiency as users enter records into a CRM platform, ensuring only perfect addresses enter the database. When only verified information enters the system, CRM data is protected as a tangible asset for all stakeholders in the data stream, improving quality of leads, boosting response, and closing more business.

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