The old adage ‘Garbage-In, Garbage-Out’, commonly shortened to GIGO, was coined by an IBM Instructor, George Fuechsel. The phrase, which could not be more appropriate for Data Quality, means if you enter poor quality data then poor quality results are likely.
Now let’s turn our attention to a popular subject for many organisations, that of data entry by sales people. When you have a superstar salesperson bringing in those big numbers, but they're awful at their data entry, then what should you do?
Our experience shows that organisations fall into two categories:
- Those that provide administrative support so the superstar can continue to close those all important deals and doesn’t have to deal with data, or
- Those that insist the salesperson enter valid data and keep up with admin, as it is part of their role.
It’s always interesting to hear this debate.
Whatever your culture, you need to know what the quality of the data that is being entered. Whether it is the salesperson, sales co-ordinator, or another administrator, they should be aware of what they are entering.
By the way, this does not apply to salespeople only, but anyone who enters data as part of the daily routine - call centre staff, support staff, telemarketers, negotiators, lawyers etc.
By having a report about how a person has entered their data, you have a means of training them. For salespeople (or their administrative support), using this report in your catch-up meetings reinforces the importance of entering all the data correctly and finding out from the client/prospect their exact details.
Keeping the report simple is the best way to focus on what matters to your business. Here is an example: This report not only focuses on missing information, but bad information. It is a way of training the user about what they should be capturing. Over a period of time the user will know how they need to capture data.
For sales people, every new account and every new contact could be an opportunity, every email ensures marketing communication is keeping the prospect tuned to your offerings, and every correct address ensures delivery of direct marketing material or shipped goods.
Remember GIGO - what you focus on is what you get. Focus on measuring the quality of data entry, and the quality and return on your sales and marketing efforts will improve.
Is the implementation worth the financial cost? I think so (read our other articles on Data Quality ROI).
If you would like further information on Individual Data Reports then contact Acuate:
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