55 reasons to improve data quality

The business value in data quality improvement is an ever recurring topic in the realm of data quality.

In the following I will list the first 55 reasons that comes to my mind for improving data quality related to the single most frequent data quality issue around, which is duplicates (and unresolved hierarchies) in party master data – names and addresses.

It goes like this:

1.  It’s a waste of money sending the same printed material twice or more times to the same individual consumer.

2.  Allowing the same customer enter twice or more times for an introduction offer challenges the return of investment in such campaigns.

3.  When measuring churn and win-back two or more unrelated accounts for the same business hierarchy will produce an incomplete result leading to a wrong decision.

4.  Sending the same promotion eMail twice or more times to the same individual consumer looks like spam even if different eMail addresses are used. Spam has more offending than selling power.

5.  It’s probably a waste of money sending the same printed material with presentation and offerings to a household already having a customer.

6.  Assigning different credit terms for two or more unrelated accounts for the same business hierarchy will make uncontrolled financial risk.

7.  When measuring cross selling results two or more unrelated accounts for the same household will produce an incomplete result leading to a wrong decision.

8.  When measuring life time value two or more unrelated accounts for the same individual consumer will produce a wrong result leading to a wrong decision.

9.  It’s probably a waste of money sending the same printed material twice or more times to the same household.

10.  When measuring life time value two or more unrelated accounts for the same individual being a consumer and a business owner will produce an incomplete result leading to a wrong decision.

11.  When wanting a 1-1 dialogue two or more unrelated accounts for the same individual consumer will not lead to a 1-1 dialogue.

12.  Having companies represented in two or more unrelated accounts for the same company with a different line-of-business assigned will produce an incomplete segmentation.

13.  When trying to point at your best customers being households in order to find similar households two or more unrelated accounts for the same household will produce an incomplete segmentation.

14.  When measuring cross selling results two or more unrelated accounts for the same individual consumer will produce a wrong result leading to a wrong decision.

15.  It’s a waste of money sending printed material with presentation and offerings to an individual consumer already being a customer.

16.  When wanting a 1-1 dialogue two or more unrelated accounts for the same business hierarchy will not lead to a complete 1-1 dialogue.

17.  When measuring life time value two or more unrelated accounts for the same business hierarchy will produce an incomplete result leading to a wrong decision.

18.  Assigning different credit terms for two or more unrelated accounts for the same individual consumer will increase financial risk.

19.  When measuring cross selling results two or more unrelated accounts for the same individual being a consumer and a business owner will produce only an incoherent result leading to a wrong decision.

20.  When wanting a 1-1 dialogue two or more unrelated accounts for the same household will not lead to a true 1-1 dialogue.

21.  Assigning different credit terms for two or more unrelated accounts for the same business entity could increase financial risk.

22.  Having activities related to companies attached to two or more unrelated accounts for the same company will show an incomplete customer history with the risk of taking damaging actions.

23.  It’s a waste of money and credibility sending printed material with presentation and offerings to an individual business decision maker in a business entity already being a customer.

24.  When buying from a supplier having two or more unrelated accounts despite being the same business entity you may miss discount opportunities.

25.  Having companies represented in two or more unrelated accounts for the same company with a different lead source assigned will produce a false measure of marketing and sales performance.

26.  Sending the same promotion eMail or newsletter twice or more times to the same individual business decision maker looks like spam even if different eMail addresses are used. Spam has more offending than selling power.

27.  When measuring  churn and win-back two or more unrelated accounts for the same household will produce an incomplete result leading to a wrong decision.

28.  Having activities related to influencers attached to two or more unrelated business contact records for the same person will show an incomplete business partner history with the risk of retaking already made actions.

29.  When buying from a supplier having two or more unrelated accounts despite they are belonging the same business hierarchy you could miss discount opportunities.

30.  Having activities related to households attached to two or more unrelated accounts for the same household will show an incomplete customer history with the risk of taking insufficient  actions.

31.  When trying to point at your best customers being individual consumers in order to find similar individuals two or more unrelated accounts for the same individual consumer will produce a wrong segmentation.

32.  Having companies represented in two or more unrelated accounts for the same company with a different address assigned will produce an incomplete segmentation.

33.  When measuring life time value two or more unrelated accounts for the same business entity will produce a false result leading to a wrong decision.

34.  Having activities related to decision makers in companies attached to two or more unrelated contacts for the same person will show an incomplete customer contact history with the risk of not taking appropriate actions.

35.  When wanting a 1-1 dialogue two or more unrelated accounts for the same business entity will not lead to a real 1-1 dialogue.

36.  When trying to point at your best customers being companies in order to find similar companies two or more unrelated accounts for the same company will produce a false segmentation.

37.  Maintaining data related to two or more unrelated accounts for the same real world entity will probably be more costly than necessary when exploiting external reference data.

38.  It’s probably a waste of money sending printed material with presentation and offerings to a business entity already being a customer at a higher or lower hierarchy level.

39.  Having individual consumers represented in two or more unrelated accounts for the same individual consumer with a different lead source assigned will produce a wrong measure of marketing and sales performance.

40.  Allowing the same customer re-enter for an offer already turned down (e.g. credit services) will create unnecessary double validation work.

41.  When measuring churn and win-back two or more unrelated accounts for the same business entity will produce a false result leading to a wrong decision.

42.  When wanting a 1-1 dialogue two ore more unrelated accounts for the same individual being a consumer and a business owner will not lead to a sensible 1-1 dialogue.

43.  When measuring cross selling results two or more unrelated accounts for the same business entity will produce a false result leading to a wrong decision.

44.  Having activities related to individual consumers attached to two or more unrelated accounts for the same individual consumer will show an incomplete customer history with the risk of taking wrong actions.

45.  When measuring life time value two or more unrelated accounts for the same household will produce an incomplete result leading to a wrong decision.

46.  Having activities related to customers attached to two or more unrelated accounts for the same real world entity may lead to that different sales representatives are working against each other.

47.  Allowing sales representatives creating new accounts for already existing customers may create time consuming commission disputes.

48.  Having households represented in two or more unrelated accounts for the same household with a different lead source assigned will produce an incomplete measure of marketing and sales performance.

49.  Maintaining data related to two or more unrelated accounts for the same real world entity will consume more manual work than necessary.

50.  When measuring churn and win-back two or more unrelated accounts for the same individual consumer will produce a wrong result leading to a wrong decision.

51.  When buying from a supplier having two or more unrelated accounts despite being the same business entity you may have multiple unnecessary inventory costs.

52.  It’s a waste of money and credibility sending the same printed material twice or more times to the same individual business decision maker.

53.  When measuring churn and win-back two or more unrelated accounts for the same individual being a consumer and a business owner will produce only an incoherent result leading to a wrong decision.

54.  Assigning different credit terms for two or more unrelated accounts for the same household may increase financial risk.

55.  When measuring cross selling results two or more unrelated accounts for the same business hierarchy will produce an incomplete result leading to a wrong decision.

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9 thoughts on “55 reasons to improve data quality

  1. David jaques-Watson 23rd November 2009 / 02:50

    Looks loike a pretty comprehensive list. I think if anyone is presenting these to senior mgt, they may be a bit too low-level (operational) and detailed. Mgt may find it easier to digest if they were grouped into a number of simpler tactical-level themes, such as:
    – direct costs to the business, such as wasted mailouts;
    – reduced customer annoyance leading to improved customer retention; and
    – business decisions based on incomplete knowledge (an incompete customer picture) will lead to poor or incorrect decisions, with the associated loss of income, reputation, etc.
    …and so on.

  2. Jill Wanless 23rd November 2009 / 10:44

    Great post. Although in general it is true that Sr. Mgt may not care for the detail, sometimes they need the specifics as they relate to their business processes.
    Here are some more. Do you think we could hit the 100 mark?
    56. reporting that uses data from two or more unrelated accounts for the same real world entity requires manual reconciliation
    57. data from two or more sources for the same entity requires manual intervention when used in a new software application
    58. when data is in more than one account for the same entity there may be disagreement over which account has the more accurate data.

  3. Dylan Jones 23rd November 2009 / 11:23

    Great post Henrik, I notice that a lot of these points are customer/account/party type data related, I think it would be great to extend the list out into other business data and as David says, create some categories so different roles in the business have a jumping off point.

    Excellent post though, I’m sure this can actually be a powerful marketing tool for motivating management.

  4. Henrik Liliendahl Sørensen 23rd November 2009 / 12:02

    Thanks David, Jill and Dylan.

    Dylan, my working title was actually 101 reasons … but I settled for 55 solely related to party master data duplication.

    As David says, if this is going to be presented as a plan for senior management it has be organized in topics. Before doing that a given enterprise may select the relevant points and assign business value in dollar/euro/pound/whatever for each point and costs and actions for fixing (groups of) selected points.

    Jill’s point on assigning value on a low level in specification where we are looking at data in relation to actual business processes is in my eyes very important. It is said from time to time that senior management don’t buy-in on data quality initiatives because there is “no facts, no action”.

  5. Charles Blyth 23rd November 2009 / 14:47

    Great post Henrik, you have presented a ‘smörgåsbord’ of benefits here, I would never have got to 55 let alone 101. Taking on Dylan’s idea of widening this out to other areas in the enterprise, I’ll get my thinking hat on and come up with some more from my ‘non-customer’ DQ initiatives.

    I agree that you need hard proof nowadays to get executive buy-in, and the best proof comes from real examples like these.

    I’ll be back with my additions to the list.

    Regards

    Charles

  6. Stray__Cat 25th November 2009 / 01:40

    This post is straight to the point. Well done

  7. Matt Morris 25th January 2010 / 19:13

    Finding customer specific requirements has long been a challenge. In fact, a survey of current automotive suppliers found that a significant number did not know where to go for the latest applicable customer specific requirements. For registrars and end users, this represents a serious problem. How can rules be followed and enforced if they are not readily available?

    It is with these challenges in mind customerspecifics.com was created. Here you will find a community to access, share, and discuss customer specific requirements.

    Please understand that the content of this site will take some time to develop as we work hand in hand with each of you to build a comprehensive database of the thousands of available customer specific requirements. We ask that you join us in our cause as we attempt to build something great for the common benefit of the quality community.

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