The Cost (And Missed Opportunity) of Bad Data - GroPro 20/20 Recap

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...data cleaning can't be a project or an initiative. It has to be a full-time job.

Any attendee at this year's GroPro 20/20 in New York would surely agree: there's much to unpack from what we heard at the day-long conference. Given this year's programming theme ("Becoming a data-driven executive"), I've been returning to some of the insights on bad data shared by my friend Chris Fritsch of CLIENTSFirst Consulting.

From my notes - and a handy white paper Chris prepared for her program:

The cost(s) of bad data

  • Without clean, correct and complete data, our messages fall flat, our interactions can become ineffective and our results erode.

  • Up to 30% of our key data can degrade each year as people get hired, fired, promoted and change jobs; move and change addresses; get married and divorced; retire and even die.

  • Researchers say that poor data quality may be costing an average organization as much as $13 million per year.

The missed opportunity

Chris also offers the insight that addressing bad data is an opportunity to win deals you wouldn't otherise be able to identify: "If your firm knew that you had a really good chance of closing an opportunity to acquire a multi-million-dollar client – even though you knew it might require various teams within the organization to work together and put in a great deal of effort – what is the chance that it would be ignored? That is exactly what companies do each year by not addressing bad or dirty data in their systems."

What's the best path to fixing bad data?

Per Chris, in a nutshell: "it's important to understand that because data degrades so rapidly, data cleaning can't be a project or an initiative. It has to be a full-time job. But like most jobs, it can pay dividends."

Of course, the job requires a plan that answers, among things, questions like:

  • How much bad data do we have?
  • Where is it located?
  • How did it get there?
  • Who is in charge of it?
  • What is the best way to clean it up?
  • Who will perform the cleanup?
  • How long will the cleanup take?
  • What will the cleanup cost?

If you weren't in attendance at GroPro 20/20 (I recommend the conference to anyone looking for best insights and practices in our contemporary landscape), check out additional writings on the subject of CRM and data success by Chris here.

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Robin Oliver is Global Director of Business Development at JD Supra

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