Case Study

CRM Company Partners with phData to Build a Case for a Single Source of Truth for Contact Data

The Customer’s Challenge

The analytics team within a sector of a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) company was tasked with building a case for implementing a single source of truth (SSOT) for their contact data.  They have a wealth of data but it sits across several disparate systems that currently do not communicate.  

Internal teams who rely on this data are plagued by time-consuming manual processes, limited or no access to data sources, and inconsistent data definitions. To create a single source of truth on their contact data, the analytics team must understand their current state. This includes identifying the existing infrastructure, people, and processes generating and supporting the current data structure.

phData’s Solution

The phData team implemented a multi-modal discovery plan to gather information, pain points, and use cases surrounding the current state. With insights gleaned, the team produced detailed documentation of the current state, including process diagrams, use cases, and data dictionaries. 

With a firm understanding of the current state, phData provided meaningful, evidence-based assessments of the current business impact to drive organizational buy-in. 

In addition, phData provided recommendations around solutions and phasing for the implementation of the single source of truth.

The Full Story

A Fortune 500 Customer Relationship Management (CRM) company is working to create a single source of truth for their contact data, a feat that many groups have tried with no success. There was no central team with the ability to oversee and govern such a vast and ambiguous project. Also, the data currently lives across several systems that lack communication, consistency, and clarity amongst data.  

The consistency and accuracy of this data is crucial to internal groups as it will help them save time and effort spent on administrative data tasks.  More importantly, the insights gleaned from this data are used to drive decisions around the provision of benefits, support, and performance of their customer base.

The information gained from discovery will be used to define how the contact data should be centralized across all lines of business. With this single source of truth, the analytics team will be able to better support stakeholder efforts across the organization with data products like dashboards, targeted marketing campaigns, and personalized recommendations.  

Why phData?

The analytics team did not have a dedicated resource available to lead this large discovery effort. They needed someone who could get up to speed with the business quickly, proactively lead guided discovery sessions for a large number of stakeholders, and make recommendations on the best course of action using analytics strategy best practices. 

As a leader in the BI and analytics community, phData was well situated to tackle this strategy problem. Combining critical thinking, planning, and efficiency, phData is accustomed to helping clients realize their analytics visions by providing actionable strategies to get there. 

How did we build the story?

We conducted a series of group interviews coordinated around similar business functions to gather the information we needed. Given the large number of stakeholders and limited time with each group, discovery sessions were used to educate stakeholders on the desired input we were looking to get and we then provided templates for which to collect consistent information. We were looking for three key pieces of information:

Data workflows

Understand the existing data sources and document knowledge about data quality on those data sources for each line of business. Additionally, we wanted to depict the business processes, both manual and automatic, behind how stakeholders currently access information within and across data sources. This would help us identify bottlenecks and areas of dependency with this data.

User Stories

Review the existing structure of data to determine the operational status for the main business lines and identify gaps. What is the impact on stakeholders’ daily operations from having inconsistent and poor quality contact data? This allows business groups to provide detailed user stories for how they currently access and use data as well as the pain points associated with the current processes.

Profile Attributes

User discovery session input and current state analysis to culminate a field attribute list needed to build a robust contact profile. This allows stakeholders the opportunity to validate the list and provide feedback through the use of surveys. This list includes existing fields that need to be cleaned and net new fields not currently reported on but available in a backend data source.

With insights gleaned from the above, the team translated the information gathered into detailed documentation of the current state, including process diagrams, functional use case backlog, and data dictionaries.   

In addition, phData provided recommendations around solutions and phasing for the implementation of the single source of truth based on the level of impact on the business and the level of effort to resolve.  

What is the business impact of an SSOT?

Having a firm understanding of the current state and all of its risks and pain points, phData provided meaningful, evidence-based assessments of the business impact of suggested changes to drive organizational buy-in to a single source of truth framework.

Our findings rolled up into four main areas of impact that would result from having an accurate and scalable SSOT for contact data:

  • Business growth– By capturing historical contact engagement data, they will have the ability to identify areas of opportunity to grow the business based on attributes such as capacity, expertise, and location.  In addition, they can measure areas of program success.
  • Operational Efficiency– How easy is it to do business with us? Automation around the SSOT will reduce manual, labor-intensive operational processes and provide more resource allocation to ensure reliable transactions and better support.
  • Data Governance– Providing consistent and scalable processes to ingest, update, and maintain the ever-growing data pipeline.  Also govern the change management and enable self-service data management.
  • Targeted communications– Capturing more robust, accurate contact data will ensure relevant communications to the right person(s) at the right time to reduce recipient burnout and increase customer satisfaction and engagement.

Maintaining data quality and integrity with processes in place that are scalable is crucial to ensuring contact data that is consistent, accurate, and complete across such an extensive system.  

Providing end-users with an accessible SSOT for their contact data will allow the CRM analytics team to build a foundation of trust and deliver the analytics team more time to devote to more valuable activities over time that was spent on manual, ad-hoc data management tasks. 

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