Preventing Data Emergencies Before They Happen

February 18 2015

Author: Chad Cosper


How many times have you gone to a mechanic for a routine state inspection or oil change only to find out that there are more serious repairs that need to be addressed? Perhaps I am more sensitive to this situation since I drive a Jeep that can now be considered “antique,” but it has also come up with my wife’s late model vehicle.

Shortly before a trip during which we would drive a few thousand miles, I took the car in to have a light indicating an ABS Brake error investigated. Turned out that the underlying issue was a battery leak that was interfering with the car’s computer. Had I not taken the vehicle in for what I thought was going to be routine service, the battery leak may have left us stranded in the middle of the Big Bend area of Texas, where there are few mechanics and spotty cell service to call the few that do operate there.

The same is true of operational data in your organization. Your website is operating properly and generating revenue. Your customers are happy and loyal, thanks, in part to your customer service and retention teams. Your product managers are creating products that consumers want to purchase, and your team is getting those products to market faster than your competitors. What keeps your executive team up at night? It likely is not master data, because there are no glaring emergencies.

But does that mean your data is completely accurate?

Inaccurate product and supplier information, or duplicated customer records, may be causing inefficiencies that are not yet visible, but may be affecting your company’s overall performance. These situations may surface at any time.

You may be missing out on cross-sell or upsell opportunities due to incorrect relationships in the data. Worse still, strategists may discontinue a product that would otherwise be quite successful because those opportunities did not drive the consumer demand as expected. Fragmented customer information may be causing billing issues that are not reflected in your retention numbers, but may be impacting another department.

Perhaps your company is using a Product Information Management (PIM) system to master product information. Tasks that used to take you months or years to do can now be done in days or weeks. You are relatively certain that your data is accurate, but is it complete? Do you have a overall view of the suppliers who manufacture the products you sell? Do you know which of your locations is the top seller of a particular product? Or which one could be selling more if it were able to keep the product in stock? Do you know which of your customers are the most loyal, the most valuable? Can you provide those customers with the products they want, when they want them, from the channel they prefer?

Master Data Management (MDM) technologies like PIM help ensure that your enterprise data is accurate. Proactively mastering data is important, even when data inconsistencies are not causing visible disruptions. However, to be truly proactive, your enterprise should master ALL critical domains of data (customer, product, supplier, asset, employee, location, etc.). Selling your executive team on this necessity is especially difficult when things are going well. This is the time to start building the business case for a true enterprise-wide multidomain MDM strategy to protect all of your data.

Download Building the Business Case and accompanying templates and let Stibo Systems guide you through the process.


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