We’re all well aware of the importance of high quality customer data and, perhaps more importantly, the impacts of poor customer data. This heightened awareness is due to many factors, but the main reason is simple, customer data quality resonates with all of us because we can easily relate to it. Why? Because, all of us are “customers” in our daily interactions as consumers – online banking, grocery shopping, Friday night dining out – so we intuitively understand the customer role. In addition, industry white papers, testimonials and Webinars frequently position data quality from a customer perspective. But there’s much more to business than CRM and continuing to “plow that field” may be at the expense of another business area whose problem warrants our attention.
So how do we break out of the customer data rut? Where do we look? What if we’re speaking with the head of supply chain or the director of purchasing or the VP of payroll? How do we position data quality? While a “defect free” 360 degree view of the customer is intriguing, it means absolutely nothing in the worlds of materials management, procurement or human resources. Furthermore, asking internal stakeholders to take it on good faith that the benefits realized from data improvements in the customer space translate to their domains is a big leap.
To effectively sell data quality as a key business enabler across the entire enterprise requires much more than knowledge of data quality best practices or data quality technology. We need to understand where the business is trying to go and what drives it. We need to frame the data quality value proposition in terms that are meaningful to our “internal” customers. Take the time to learn how the enterprise does business. Become familiar with the companies strategies and objectives. Speak in terms that resonate with the business. Take on a new challenge.