Data governance is a key element in the fight against inaccurate and outdated data, which is especially important when marketing to education professionals.
In many ways, big data and data governance has been a major positive for marketers. When managed and updated properly, big data informs many aspects of marketing, from audience segmentation to follow-up efforts for the next campaign.
For marketers focusing on the world of education specifically, big data is especially valuable. Effective outreach to professionals, schools and districts depends on accurate and current information related to roles and contract details. Big data has made gathering this information easier, but it also introduces challenges in terms of keeping it up to date. Your business can’t ignore these needs if it wants to make the most of its investment into marketing.
The potential for wasted time and money in education marketing
Every piece of marketing material sent to an outdated or otherwise incorrect address is time and money wasted. And without a plan for regularly cleansing and updating your data, that excess of information – whether accurate or not – can easily slow down critical systems and increase costs associated with server operation and CRM platforms. This leads to lost opportunities that could otherwise very well be converted in a one-time sale or lead to a long-term relationship, with only bad data to blame.
The problems and costs are very real
Radius, a subsidiary of small-business financier Kabbage, conducted research that found 7.6% of contacts in the average CRM go bad each quarter. More generally, a full third of the customer data in the average CRM system is not useful or beneficial due to a mix of duplicate, inaccurate, missing and outdated data. Gartner estimated that the average B2B business in the U.S. loses an average of $8.8 million per year due to issues with data quality.
There’s also the negative impact on employee productivity and even morale to consider. Staff that develop projects that are perfect in every other way besides the data used will be discouraged when they don’t see results on par with the level of effort and attention to detail invested in the venture. Without effective insight into the quality and usability of the data involved, the deficiencies in such projects are often apparent only once all the necessary work is completed. Not only is this a waste of time and effort, but it can quickly discourage staff members and lower morale. And when a campaign reaches the wrong person – a teacher with the same mailing address as one who had worked in a given school the previous year, for example – it can make your business seem out of touch.
How can your company address these widespread issues with managing big data and their consequences?
Effective data governance is a major asset when it comes to marketing, and especially marketing in the world of education.
A careful approach to data governance
A thoughtful and fully deployed strategy for data governance can address many of the most common issues with old, outdated or otherwise not-useful data. In practical terms, strong data governance means managing data, modeling storage, taking security and architecture into account – making sure the standards are in place to consistently have accurate and current data on hand.
Businesses can begin working toward better data governance by creating a governance committee that establishes data policies, definitions and documentation. Getting data up to date, developing processes to regularly identify inaccurate data, creating rules to apply to outdated or otherwise unsuitable data and integrating additional data sources to enhance performance are all key considerations. Companies may also choose to define their processes, then delegate responsibility for researching data validity to a staff member or team.
When working with vendors and trusting that they implement similarly high standards for their data governance processes, Agile takes an especially strict and successful approach. We complete roughly 750,000 automated calls each year to ensure the information we provide to our clients is accurate and current. Similarly, we have staff members review relevant information and look for variances across thousands of data points, then investigate any potential issues. Data is added to our files only if it passes our standards. We also emphasize documentation and ensure our sales and data teams collaborate to focus on the most relevant data for each project. While this approach can take a little more time, it’s the best way to create positive results, maximize value and minimize issues for our clients.
To learn more about how Agile takes a careful approach to data governance and how the data we share can make the most of your marketing and outreach efforts, get in touch with us today.