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December 11th, 2014 by

Back in 2010 I wrote an article on Data Management for the Sage Saleslogix community site.  The site changed to Saleslogix community under the hands of Swiftpage and now the portal has moved to be a private community.  I thought it was an appropriate time to repost under our Simplesoft blog to keep the information alive for those who have referenced it or linked to it. 

Nine Practical Strategies for Data Management  

Data quality is one of the core pillars for Customer Relationship Manage­ment (CRM) success. It does not take long to realize when using a CRM tool, like Infor CRM, that the need for data quality management is paramount. The grueling pains of poor data management can range from the costs of inaccurate printing and re­turned mailings to the subtle troubles of us­ers not trusting the data like they should. The effectiveness of customer facing operations (sales, marketing, and support) depends on having clean data. Think of the implications of marketing to customers using inaccurate data and sending them a prospecting letter (maybe you have lived it). The costly mistakes speak for themselves. 

Research studies from the Data Warehous¬≠ing Institute suggest it only takes about four and a half years for a database to become ninety-eight percent ‚Äúbad‚ÄĚ if data is not man¬≠aged properly, and regularly. On-going T.L.C (Tender Loving Care) will keep the data constant, but changes that occur with records when customers move, marry, divorce, pass away, go out of business, etc., render them obsolete quickly. Users can become skeptical of the data and resort to deploying their own data repositories. Of course, no one plans to use a tool where the data is outdated and not trusted. So, what can an Infor CRM¬†Administrator or Data Steward do to ensure high quality data? ¬†

Strategies for Data Success  

First, establish the processes and tools to prevent inaccuracies.  

Tip: We have found it helpful to develop a document to define user policies and pro­cedures to establish data standards. Define the policies and procedures for managing change early before the system is deployed and communicate those policies to the end users of the system.  

Clean up existing data inaccuracies (if they exist).  

Our customers find it helpful to use a data survey checklist that helps you think about areas of review. 

Review critical data suppliers and entry points. Insist they provide accurate and current data. 

Especially important before importing data with G.I.G.O. (Garbage In, Garbage Out) in mind. 

Build in data accuracy by enforcing re­quired fields and pick lists. Also, use script­ing to enforce business rules whenever possible. 

Tip: Focus on the most important data first, especially for mailing and reporting. I am sure you have observed a state field with OH, Oh., OH., Ohio, OH-IO and other variations. This scenario can be easily prevented.  

Don’t be seduced by the promise of CRM data cleanup tools without a plan for pre­vention, too. There is no substitute for pre­venting errors at the source. 

Tip: You can enforce both clean up and pre­vention at the same time with QGate’s Pari­bus and PowerEntry utility.  

Select specific software tools to solve spe­cific problems rather than general tools for general problems. The Groups features is an easy-to-use built-in tool in Infor CRM. 

Tip: There are many built in tools and meth­ods to manage data so spend the time or work with your channel partner to learn them all.  

Assign a data steward (or trustee) to be responsible for each data element (Con­tacts, Accounts, pricing information, etc.). 

Typically, this role is the business process administrator; whereas the power user role manages the data and both should have strong execu­tive support. 

Establish a process through which the accuracy and quality of data in all sys­tems can be reviewed and assured on a reoccurring basis. Schedule regular tasks to review and clean up data, such as on a weekly or monthly basis. The data stew­ard/administrator should be held ac­countable for completing those tasks. 

In the case of multiple systems using the same data, identify a system of ‚Äúofficial record‚ÄĚ. That is, a system in which data will originate and ‚Äúfeed‚ÄĚ other systems that re¬≠quire the data (accounting and sales inte¬≠gration come to mind).¬†

Identify Data Quality Issues in Infor CRM  

Infor CRM administrators can create ad­ministrative Account / Contact / Opportunity Groups for various data segmentation such as missing required fields, duplication of data, and data that needs to be reviewed because the records have not been updated or reviewed, within a specified period of time, such as a six months or a year, for example. 

Infor CRM¬†also includes tools to mass ‚Äėswap‚Äô the content of fields, change values, and merge records. As a standard procedure, first complete the actions in a test environment to verify the steps and desired results. After veri¬≠fying, perform the steps in your production sys¬≠tem.¬†

Tip: Always backup a production database be¬≠fore making mass changes and complete during non-working hours. You also may want to use the built in ‚Äúuser fields‚ÄĚ to mark which records are changing, this will simplify an otherwise irrevers¬≠ible change and provide a temporary audit. ¬†

Cleaning Data Using Infor CRM 

There are some basic built-in tools for managing and de-duplicating data in Infor CRM, which can be supplemented with and enhanced by third-party tools, such as QGate’s Paribus and several other data management solutions. 

Nevertheless, a data management strategy, as outlined above, is required. Some of the data de-duplication tools available in Infor CRM include: 

Administrative Groups ‚Äď groups can be created to help administrators identify and cleanup data issues such as missing data or duplicate data¬†

Check for Duplicates Wiz¬≠ard ‚Äď an automated method of finding and eliminating data duplicates¬†

Merging Records Manually ‚Äď a simple method of merging two or more records from the Group view¬†

Increasing the reliability of CRM data within an organization is priceless. Avoiding costly mis¬≠takes such as targeting a current customer as a new prospect is critical.¬† Now is a great time to review and clean your¬†Infor CRM¬†data. Remember to review and clean existing data, clean the data being entered, and prevent the current data from becoming ‚Äústale‚ÄĚ. Managing data quality is an ever moving target and must be a part of your overall system management strategy.¬†

Data helps solve problems.¬† — Anne Wojcicki¬†

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If you would like to discuss upgrading your system, or to see a free demonstration, please contact Simplesoft Solutions. 

Remember to check our CALENDAR and register for free training, demo sessions, and the Heartland Users Group Events. 

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Dayton/Cincinnati, OH | Charleston, WV | Charlotte, NC 

 

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October 9th, 2014 by

The importance of clean data and performance boosts should not be underestimated

Autumn (fall) is a wonderful time of year (my favorite!).¬† I love the crisp cool¬†air and foliage changes.¬† It is a time of year that you are straightening up the yard, raking and pulling weeds, and putting away summertime outdoor furniture ‚Äď generally preparing for the next season.¬†¬†¬† With the seasonal change, I was thinking it is also a good time to be cleaning up systems and data related tasks for the next round of technology changes with Infor CRM.¬† It’s a great time to think about cleaning up your Saleslogix system and data.

How would a system data clean up help you?

1. A faster system means less waiting for end users and more productive end users.

2. A tuned system means users can help your business serve your customers.

3. Cleaner data means that end users will have more meaningful insights in dashboards, reports, and groups.

4) Clean data increases trust and helps with a positive sales culture avoiding a bad reputation with data inaccuracies.

Do you want?

  • Greater confidence in your CRM system.
  • Less time spent reconciling data.
  • More accurate reporting.

Dirty data can negatively impact alerts, Dashboards, entity groups and many other aspects of your systems like integration between systems.  It can impact marketing to the incorrect customers in the incorrect manner (bad reputation) or even impact forecasting sales.

Data is a precious thing and will last longer than the systems themselves.¬†¬† — Tim Berners-Lee

Attend our Fall Data Cleanup Webinar on Tuesday, October 21st at 2:00 pm to learn more.  You can also contact us to learn more about our data cleansing services.

If you would like to discuss upgrading your system, or to see a free demonstration, please contact Simplesoft Solutions.

Remember to check our CALENDAR and register for free training, demo sessions, and the Heartland Saleslogix Users Group Events.

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Dayton/Cincinnati, OH | Charleston, WV | Charlotte, NC

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July 13th, 2010 by

You know how in life you run into those small things where you wished you had slowed down to make a better decision… Like where to place the butter tub in the refrigerator, so it doesn‚Äôt fall out and bust all over the kitchen floor.¬† I can only hope this is resonating with some of you and you aren‚Äôt all the type who very strategically place your grocery items in their assigned quadrants in the fridge.¬† I work with some of you quadrant folks, but many of you will understand my perspective.

I know from experience there are plenty of you who have painstakingly planned, with your user departments, the best ‚Äúpick lists‚ÄĚ possible for all areas of SalesLogix. ¬†Now, you wonder ‚Äúhow did that data get in there?‚ÄĚ You forgot one very important step; way back in the beginning.¬† You forgot to lock down the pick list so the users could not add their own values. Maybe you didn‚Äôt know it was possible, maybe you thought by giving them so many choices they wouldn‚Äôt add their own, or maybe you thought it would be nice to provide your users that flexibility.¬† Whatever the reason ‚Ķ I bet most of you are second guessing your decision now. ¬†I was working with a client in the Cincinnati, OH area last week, training them on building query groups in SalesLogix, and they were shocked at some of the values in their data.

We are talking about two tiny little checkboxes.¬† These two checkboxes will save you hours of frustration.¬† See below! ¬†¬†You need both ‚ÄėText must match a list item‚ÄĚ and ‚ÄúUsers can not edit items‚ÄĚ to fully lock down pick lists. The Picklist Manager can be found in the Administrative Client under Manage>Pick Lists:

Note:  The default setting for pick lists does allow users to Add items of their own (unchecked).

OK, so now you know to go back and lock down the pick lists, ¬†but what about all that data you don‚Äôt want in your pick lists?¬† I have a good answer for you and another area of SalesLogix to explore in this article.¬† There is a SalesLogix maintenance tool called ‚ÄúReplace Data‚ÄĚ that can help get your data back under control.¬† This menu is available through the Sales Client, as an administrative user, from the Tools>Manage>Replace Data menu option.

Use the Replace Data Wizard to replace one or more values with another value in the ACCOUNT, CONTACT, or OPPORTUNITY tables. You can only replace data in accounts, contacts, and opportunities to which you have access rights. The Replace Data Wizard works with the current account, contact, or opportunity group.

The first screen of the replace data wizard prompts you to choose which type of records to update (Account, Contact or Opportunity).

The next decision is the type of data replacement to perform on the current group

The last screen prompts for a target field and value. If you have chosen a replacement type that requires more input values (search and replace, for example) this is where you will be prompted for those as well.

*Simplesoft Solutions recommends that all of the actions described in this post be performed by and limited to Administrative SLX Users.

If your SalesLogix data cleansing  job is bigger than you can handle, contact us a sales@simplesoft.net to discuss the data cleansing services we provide at Simplesoft Solutions, Inc.

Dayton, Ohio Office:
Simplesoft Solutions, Inc.
550 N. Main St. Suite A
Springboro, OH 45066
Phone: (937) 885-1204 x 3204
Fax: (937) 885-3580
sales@simplesoft.net

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