In out, In out, Shake it all about!
One of the things I’ve noticed recently is how little thought is given to retrieving data that goes into a database. In fact, I’ve seen a couple of instances where data is held outside of the main database specifically so it can be retrieved; a belief that retrieval wouldn’t be possible if the data got onto the CRM.
Ask yourself this: is it logical to add data to a CRM with no idea of how to get it back? And is it logical to hold the data outside the CRM if you want to retrieve it and don’t think you can if it goes into the CRM?
This really is a bonkers situation. I think that the issue stems from the lack of knowledge about the CRM. This could even be down to a lack of support from the data team/person, if you have one. Shame on you!
I also think that there is an issue with being honest about what the captured data is going to be used for, how it could be used, what needs to be stored?
There’s not a best course of action, but I think this should be a shared with everyone involved. Often the ’W’ and ‘H’ questions are missed how: Why are we collecting this data? What is the long term use for it? How are we planning on storing it? These questions must be the starting point. I really struggle when confronted with a situation where none of these have been asked and the captured data is already sitting in a file waiting. I can’t go back in time and now I’m expected to force data into a database, regardless of its potential and often regardless of cost or getting it housed.
I believe there is another issue here as well, one of joined up thinking and longer term strategies. There is only so much information you can solicit from a customer or a supporter. When you operate in such an isolated way you run the risk of using up your opportunities for harvesting information, leaving you with the data equivalent of a bag of mouldy apples. And let’s face it, the ability to get data is now so restricted you must use your chances wisely.
In my ideal world, all the questions would be asked, people would be harsher in evaluating the importance of each piece of data and people across a business would instinctively want to collaborate. In reality this is not going to happen any time soon. In the meantime, you’ll probably find me with a pained look on my face wielding the technological version of a sledgehammer trying to get some round data into a square database. However, I’ve always got time to chat through ideas, so if you would like some help on any of your data projects or need any other support for your business, from printing, through email campaigns to event planning, call Julie or Charlie on 01462 713444 to chat through options and get a quote.