Why Standardize CRM Data?
Standardization improves communication. Consider road signs which are more or less standard within a country. If road signs varied from state to state, it is not hard to visualize the inconvenience and not to mention the risk caused to motorists. With clarity of communication owing to standardization comes an efficient business environment and faster results owing to improved results.
In a standardized environment, it is possible to maintain a detailed glossary of terms that all stakeholders can refer to. This improves data clarity, increases usage and therefore the value of data to the organization.
Data Entry StandardsStandardization of data validation rules pertaining to the length, type, format and other data attributes can control erroneous data from entering the system. Telephone numbers are of a standard length and a fixed format- country code, area code and a fixed range of digits. Age is a numerical whereas an email address can be alphanumeric recognized by the ‘@’ sign. Using these regularities in data structure, anything outside the expected limits and types can be automatically excluded.
Lists are another way of enforcing data standards for data types like country name, City name, customer name and Zip codes. The data entry personnel or software select as much data as possible from previously created lists to minimize data entry errors.
Data Classification RulesStandardization of rules to classify data contribute to the efficient use and value enhancement of CRM data. Standard definitions of critical and non-critical data, mandatory and optional data help save effort and direct limited costs and personnel to accurately enter and maintain data which is vital to an organization’s success.
Data Entry AutomationTechnologies like Optical character recognition-OCR, can transfer data from documents into a database without manual data entry. Clear typed data is great for OCR based operation while handwritten data is not. Standardization of printed or typed documents can increase the level of successful automation thereby enhancing data accuracy with reduced data entry efforts and costs.
Naming ConventionsDo you include certain titles or words in names? Do you use full names or acronyms? If acronyms are used, how such short forms can be standardized? Naming conventions if not standardized can result in duplicate data. For example, St. Martin’s High School, Martins High School or SMHS are all treated as different data in a database.
Metadata standardizationMetadata is data about your data-in simple words, it is a description of your data. If metadata terminology are not standardized, metadata can actually make data interpretation more difficult than it was without use of metadata. Metadata standards such as the ISO 11179 help with clear and understandable data definitions which increase clarity around data.
Finally, standardization of CRM data helps customers, most of all. They get used to the uniform terminology that organizations use and easily grasp information sent to or placed before them. Improvement in customer communications is a major asset for companies using CRM data.