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June 30th, 2020 by

Don’t let your data go down a black hole. Keeping data clean and useful in CRM’s is usually a tough task for companies. You have multiple departments and users accessing and using the data. Simplesoft Solutions assigning someone at your company to be a Data Steward.

Who are data stewards?
Typical data stewards could include employees who are experts for one of the following;  Subject Area, Organizational, Business process, Application level, and Project level. Additionally, they can be categorized into two types; technical or business data stewards. The larger the company the more the roles will be defined and segmented. Also, a formal governance should be established; such as a CIO (Chief Information Officer), CDO (Chief Data Officer) and a governing body that establishes policies and procedures. Sometimes this is as simple as working with your IT department to set the hierarchy.

Why do you need data stewards?
I would like to focus on the qualities and skills essential for the Infor CRM data steward combination role needed for most mid-enterprise companies. The role of the data steward is a critical one of watching over and caring for a valuable resource for your firm. Yes, it‚Äôs data. It is not a resource that is scarce because it seems that “data” is everywhere. It is a role that is greatly overlooked in most companies as the data is there, right? But there is great potential in managing this data well and how it flows between departments, information systems, organizations, and customers. Accurate data allows accurate reporting to measure company progress, market saturation, user interactions and to help a company succeed. In smaller to mid-sized companies the data steward(s) is more of a role than a formal title. How should you decide who should own that role and what are they responsible for anyway?
The organizational ‚Äúthinking‚ÄĚ must be ready to be a data-driven culture. There are areas of interest that companies should consider like products and services being offered, the business model and structures that support them, and the business models that need to change and shift with the markets that are being supported to produce new goods and services. In the smaller sense, a good goal is just looking for the consistency and the accuracy to allow timely sharing of data in the form of reports, dashboards, and BI (Business Intelligence) for taking action on the executive level as well as the front lines.

What qualities should a data steward have?
In terms of data stewardship, the roles can be divided or blended. If the roles are divided then the technical is more of the custodian/corrector of the data and the business role is more the coordinator/tracker of the data. The stewardship role leans more towards business, but having the ability to change the data and being technically savvy, is the best combination. For SME’s (Small and medium-sized enterprises), a combination role of both technical and business will increase the cohesiveness of the company and ensure success in data and process accuracy.
The knowledge and skills are mainly organizational first and protecting the integrity of data second. They must understand the business direction, processes, rules, and requirements for getting tasks done. They should be able to influence business directions and gain business area commitments. They must be able to coordinate and create relationships internally to communicate the business rules and definitions. Most importantly, they must then work to make sure the data delivers accuracy for the direction of the company and those system users, integrators, and system admins are trained on how to do that properly.
The data steward role is important to help manage and maintain an important asset to the company, data. The data steward must work together with business leaders, system users, and technical people to be aligned with the direction of the company. It is not an easy job and requires thought before placing people into this role that possess the right mix of skills and personality. You must keep your data clean to effectively utilize Infor CRM.

Related Blog Posts: Keeping Data Clean – Bulk Updates

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Simplesoft Solutions, Inc. is a customer relationship management (CRM) business consulting and software development firm in Cincinnati/Dayton OH surrounding areas. We provide implementation, integration, development and training for Infor CRM (formerly Saleslogix). We have built our business on an ability to creatively adapt CRM to meet the varying needs of our customers’ businesses. We have been helping our customers develop stronger relationships with their customers through improved sales, marketing, customer service, and support processes since 1994.

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April 26th, 2016 by

Paul Hansford from Simplesoft Solutions traveled to Boston April 14th Р16th to participate in a professional panel with 10 people from across the US. This group was selected through their work in the data industry and was chartered to build an occupational profile for a middle-skilled Big Data specialist. The group was led by the Oceans of Data Institute of the Education Development Center, Inc. (EDI) and their work was observed by Community College professors. This event was supported through funding from the National Science Foundation. The outcome was a drafted occupational profile that describes the specific skills, knowledge, and behaviors needed to compete in a data-centered economy.  The next step in the process will be reaching out to peers to have them review the work that was completed to check for gaps and/or improvements.

All of this work is very similar to a previous profile (see below) designed for the tasks involved with the work of a data scientist role.

http://oceansofdata.org/our-work/profile-big-data-enabled-specialist

The projected quantity of data is growing each year and the clique that data is ‚Äúeverywhere‚ÄĚ in a sense is true.¬† There is a strong need to promote data literacy and incorporate data-driven thinking into our daily lives.¬† Our economy is increasingly defined by data as is our knowledge and skills for using it effectively.¬† Our stakeholders and customers are demanding an increase in results that help make sense of the data in place. Simplesoft was pleased to be able to contribute to the larger picture by having a tenured consultant like Paul share his data expertise. Paul has a unique set of skills to lend to this project with his 20 years of data consulting expertise and his more recent experience teaching at the collegiate level.

Paul was energized by his participation in this valuable work and commented, ‚ÄúIt was a real honor to contribute to the work in the world of data and databases. Organizations of all kinds are looking for data to help them transform their business model and increase productivity.¬† I am grateful for the opportunity to be a part of this highly important discussion.‚Ä̬† Simplesoft has highly skilled data specialists with a range of experience in system¬†integration, business intelligence, CRM, and marketing automation tools.¬† We are looking forward to seeing the finished work.

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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April 12th, 2016 by

Our own Paul Hansford was nominated by a professor at Sinclair Community College for a Big Data Career panel in Boston.  Paul will represent Simplesoft Solutions as an SME (Subject Matter Expert) to work with Oceans of Data Institute (ODI) of the Education Development Center, Inc.(EDC). Paul along with other panelists will help build an occupational profile of the Middle Skilled Big Data Specialist. Paul will travel to Boston April 14th-16th to share his twenty years of industry knowledge in the panel discussions.

Paul will be joined by colleagues from the following schools: Bunker Hill Community College (MA), Normandale Community College (MN), Johnson County Community College (KS) and Sinclair Community College (OH). The other panels will help define big data careers and the qualifications needed per career such as certifications and degrees. The colleges can then determine the appropriate fit based on their regional employment needs.  This work will allow the colleges to develop curriculum for their schools to match the career profiles developed. To read more about this project you can visit the ODI website.

Paul reflected on this upcoming event, “It is very exciting to be involved in a project where my profession as a Senior¬†Business Technology¬†Consultant and my love for teaching collide. I have provided consulting expertise to customers both to improve their data quality and¬†share the¬†skills into those roles¬†defined as Data Stewards and business administration. A project of this nature has tremendous value to our clients as they begin to hire data specialists trained through the college structure in the future.”¬† We are looking forward to hearing the results of the conference and how the results¬†will benefit our customers and our region through Sinclair Community College.

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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February 9th, 2016 by

Dear Paul,

We are having trouble with remote client changes making it ‚Äúto/from‚ÄĚ the remote client during the Synchronization process. Do you have any suggestions for troubleshooting the process?

Yes. Many times synchronization issues can be due to configuration settings or permissions. A good place to start is figuring out where the change files are breaking down and working to resolve from there.  The following is a procedure for figuring out where the change files are failing to move properly. Sometimes an unexpected reboot of servers can cause issues.

How to ‚Äúfollow the TEF‚ÄĚ from remote to Synchronization server:

Remote client Computer tasks

=====================

1. Start on the remote side and already synced up

2. Make sure the remote sync is off and set the Sync Options to not ‚ÄėSend changes‚Äô

3. Have the remote create an account, let’s say ‚ÄėXYZ Corporation‚Äô for generic tracking

– Identify the AccountID on the Detail tab

– confirm it is saved etc. (F5/Shift-F5)

4. Confirm the TEF file created and review in TRNVIEWER if needed

5. Confirm the size of the file and name and make a copy if needed. (Preferred)

C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\SalesLogix\Sync\Outfiles

C:\ProgramData\SalesLogix\Sync

Main Office Computer tasks

=====================

6. Place the synchronization server service on pause or stop (Preferred)

– Reset option to ‚ÄėSend changes‚Äô on the Remote client

7. Synchronize the Remote client and send changes to the server

8. Confirm the TEF file transferred to the Infiles (FTP/Network) and review in TRNVIEWER if needed

– Confirm the size of the file and name is the same and make a copy if needed

– You can sort by sitecode with the file type to filter by the specific user

9. Cycle the synchronization server manually

10. Confirm/make sure that the new account gets to the host in the client application

Find the Account and confirm the information by the AccountID on the Detail tab

Synchronization Server tasks

=====================

11. Confirm that the Account is being sent to other remotes as appropriate (I.E. Team membership or Account Ownership)

– One thought would be to run the synchronization manually and see the new account going to team members

– An additional task would be to confirm the account on an additional remote client

Remote client Computer tasks (Assuming the Account is received on the remote client)

=====================

12. Create an opportunity for the Account for number 3 step

13. Repeat the steps, for the following of the TEF files (Steps 6 through 10)

14. On the remote, make updates to the account and opportunity

15. Repeat the steps, for the following of the TEF files (Steps 6 through 10)

– Use history actions, create activity changes, key fields etc.

16. On the remote, make a change to the Phone Number for the account and the Probability field on the Opportunity

17. Repeat the steps, for the following of the TEF files (Steps 6 through 10)

Note: We are looking for symptoms where the TEF files are not being created, moved to another folder, (for example Rejected or Archived),

TEF files with errors, sitecode issues, malformed TEF files etc., Keybase issues with a naming mismatch, or missing files waiting for sequence processing during a synchronization of service.

All the settings need to be set back to the original settings after testing.

How to use the TEF Viewer

=====================

Open SalesLogix Transaction Viewer

(Default location is C:\ProgramFiles\SalesLogix\Trnviewer.exe)

Log in as the Admin user

Click the “Foldername” folder and click Open (you can filter to the specific user by choosing them from the bottom dropdown)

Click the TEF in question and click Open

Simplesoft can assist with this process by helping to analyze the TEF files with you.

If you are requesting help from Simplesoft or Saleslogix/Infor CRM, you will need to compress the following files and send with your request:

– syncerrors.txt and log file for the just completed sync from the Host server

Рsyncerrors.txt and syncstatus.txt text files from the Remote client computer and any Saved TEFs on host  (copy of them before they get processed)

It takes some time to work through this list.  Other testing can be performed as needed.

‚ÄúWe cannot solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them‚ÄĚ
‚Äē Albert Einstein

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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December 23rd, 2015 by

Dear Paul,

Its seems our indexupdates table is growing.  What can be done?

Although this is an older issue and now corrected, you should still monitor the table to make sure that the indexupdates table is cleaning up after itself.

There are a few short steps for the potential resolution (the steps can be time consuming but they are not difficult) with SpeedSearch rebuilding.  I have some standard disclaimers because Speedsearch is very heavy on the Disk I/O and needs to be performed off hours when users are not on the system.  The steps below are easy but could take a long time to run depending on the amount of records in the database especially the history table.

  • First, backup your production Saleslogix database.
  • Second, truncate your indexupdates table.
  • Third, rebuild the indexes.
  • Fourth, test the results.
  • Lastly, communicate the results of the work.

Let’s review more details below ( I have a few more details than above):

My Standard Disclaimers apply.

==========================================

  1. Kick off the users.
  2. Perform work off hours.
  3. Back up your database with verify options.
  4. Run the truncate table command on the indexupdates table.

Open up SQL Query analyzer, change the <Saleslogix Database Name>; to the name of your saleslogix database name and remove the <> characters and verify the following.  The Infor CRM (Saleslogix) kb article had the table name singular, but I believe it is plural, so correct me if I am wrong.

USE <Saleslogix Database Name>;

GO

SELECT COUNT(*) AS BeforeTruncateCount FROM sysdba.indexupdates;

GO

TRUNCATE TABLE sysdba.indexupdates;

GO

SELECT COUNT(*) AS AfterTruncateCount FROM sysdba.indexupdates;

5. Stop the speedsearch service

6. Go to the Saleslogix Speedsearch folder with the Speedsearch indexes

Go to the SpeedSearch share folder as noted in the SpeedSearch configuration

7. Remove /backup the contents of each folder  (Note: not the folders themselves)

8. Start the Saleslogix speedsearch service

9. Login to the administrator as admin user

From the menu, Manage SpeedSearch Configurations

Schedule tab

Rebuild all the Full indexes

Rebuild all the incremental indexes  (this could take a while)

10. Test the results in the Saleslogix client/Web client or using SpeedSearch client in the network client.

11. Communicate the test results back to operations as needed.

Going forward it is good practice to review and optimize the Speedsearch index schedules to confirm they are running at staggered times. E.g. not all running at 12:00 AM, 6:00 AM which is not optimal, but is the typical default.  You may also have indexes running for areas that are not being used as well.  Speedsearch is a great tool and works well, but needs to be monitored and optimized.

Be sure you put your feet in the right place, then stand firm.

– Abraham Lincoln

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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October 16th, 2015 by

Midmarket companies are beginning to experiment and utilize data to compete and win using their CRM data assets by implementing useful analytics.

The term ‚Äúbig data‚ÄĚ has been floating around for many years and creating a new era of data.¬† We consult in the middle market with some customers on the verge the large end of the market definition and others in small end of the midmarket.¬† Currently, we are not observing the ‚ÄúBig Data‚ÄĚ business impact quite yet.¬† However we believe there is potential for our customers to make strides in their operations with the data they have today.¬† We closely watch the firms and industries in the enterprise tier, especially retail, finance, manufacturing and banking, to get a handle on the mega-trends heading to the midmarket (think social, virtual, cloud, mobile and the like).¬† One such growing trend is called analytics and in particular business analytics.¬† There are many different types of analytics and they fall along a path on a capability maturity ladder.

This article will introduce some basic analytic terms, provide visuals for analytics maturity, and offer suggestions on how your company can prepare to utilize your systems to make gains before your competitors make the leap first, build up their capabilities, and leave you in the dust with smarter and faster decisions.

First, here are the basic terms for analytics without taking into consideration emerging trends like cognitive analytics and robots etc.  There is always something new.

  • “Descriptive Analytics” – To summarize what happened. (Business intelligence or data mining) which provides a hindsight look.
  • ‚ÄúDiagnostic Analytics‚ÄĚ ‚Äď To summarize why did it happen, provides insight
  • “Predictive Analytics” – can only forecast what might happen in the future to a certain probability, what is likely to happen (forecasting) which provides foresight.
  • “Prescriptive Analytics” ‚Äď a type of predictive analytics, recommending one or more courses of action — and showing the likely outcome of each decision, what should be done about it. (Optimization and simulation)

Source: Fractal Analytics

Foresight is always better than hindsight.¬† Companies are looking for a competitive advantage and are looking to get to the tipping point in markets faster.(The industry or focus is really irrelevant). ¬†Whether you are in the educational market, manufacturing, healthcare, service, retail, banking there is a competitive advantage in taking data and using it for decision making (in a faster smarter way).¬† An interesting quote is, ‚ÄúWe’re entering a new world in which data may be more important than software. –Tim O’Reilly‚Ä̬† So data is growing and becoming more important to our value chain.¬†¬†Secondly, let us focus on how your organization can prepare for analytics and think through areas for experimentation.¬† There needs to be a focus on data quality and data management.¬† Once there is a proactive and reactive treatment utilizing data governance practices using information quality techniques, then there is a foundation for building on a ‚Äúdata platform‚ÄĚ to leverage various levels of business intelligence/analytics. ¬†Then you need the right talent to help make sense of your data.¬† Some of the objectives might be to detect trends, clusters, and outlier exceptions in data to various processes and operations to improve them (from data to decisions). The reasons for experimenting in various areas of business improvement would be increased revenue, increased profits, increased earnings per share, and increasing the operating margins for starters.¬† Below are some Sales, Marketing, and customer service related areas for analytic experimentation and planning today:

  • Segmentation/stratification of customers
    • enables companies to accurately target tailored marketing messages to customers who are most likely to buy their products
  • Opportunity sizing
  • Acquisition modeling
  • Intelligent Lead scoring
  • Cross-sell/next best offer
    • People who liked this books like these books two (recommendation offerings) like Netflix and Amazon.
  • Personalized Marketing Campaigns
  • Response modeling / Customer Retention Action Planning
  • Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)

Having data to help tune and shape your business makes sense.  Working from a business model that is driven by data and positively impacting the bottom line can help improve decision making, bottom line results, and achieve better customer insights.  In other words, the business drives the tools and not the other way around and the customer and finally the company wins the race to deliver value.

‚ÄúIt’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.‚ÄĚ
‚Äē
Yogi Berra who turned 90 years old on May 12, 2015 and passed away this year Sept 22nd.¬† We honor his life with ‚Äúyogisms‚ÄĚ

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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May 19th, 2015 by

What happens when you have a system like Infor CRM and you add users?  Not just add users, but make sure they are not trained and there are no policies and procedures for them to follow.  Compound this scenario with no concept of data and how the data will be used to create outputs (analytics, dashboards, and reports etc). Well, bad things can and do happen to good systems.  This is not the way to make smart business decisions, grow your business, or utilize a CRM investment in your front office functions.

Infor CRM is an incredible system that allows for customization flexibility and process management.  However, if you unleash a system to users without any guidance or usage basics there will be consequences for storing all that mismanaged data.  Through many unintended actions you will have created a hot data mess.  A hot data mess can dramatically affect your bottom line in expected and unexpected ways.  It is already a challenge when introducing a new system to users so make sure that you have put some thought into how you are launching and the process to make it more manageable.

How does an Infor CRM Administrator or an application Data Steward manage the expectations upfront and create a well-oiled machine (to prevent a nightmare on Elm St)?

‚ÄĘ Have a governance plan in place
‚ÄĘ Identify a Data Steward
‚ÄĘ Build a set of policies and procedures
‚ÄĘ Configure the system tools
‚ÄĘ Train to the usage¬†procedures (initial, refresh, new employee)
‚ÄĘ Monitor the results (using tools like KnowledgeSync, or data cleanup tools like DQ Global)
‚ÄĘ Offer incentives for winning (keeping customers happy with high quality results)

With interactive systems, like CRM, we are constantly adding, removing, updating, and importing records. This is called Data Management and your company should have a plan in place to make sure the data changing is not causing the system usage issues.  This will have a positive impact on acquisition of new customer as well as maintaining profitable relations with customers, partners, and vendors alike.  If you find yourself unsure about where to start, we are encouraging our customers to start by identifying a Data Steward for each user group of CRM within their organization. The Data Steward can begin to define the data requirements for their user group and then work backwards to clean up what has gone astray.  If you need assistance from Simplesoft, we have various levels of Data Cleanup Services.

Data management does not have to be complex, but it does need governance and care.  Taking care of data is one of the three pillars to CRM success that helps to support user adoption. CRMs are always pushing the limiting of technology and with platforms expanding (mobile, tablets and others) we must make sure the tools keep step with the users to enhance productivity.  Good things will happen when CRM is put into place with users trained, processes documented, and a data maintenance plan in place.
‚ÄúAre you upset little friend? Have you been lying awake worrying? Well, don’t worry…I’m here. The flood waters will recede, the famine will end, the sun will shine tomorrow, and I will always be here to take care of you. -Charlie Brown to Snoopy‚ÄĚ
— Charles M. Schulz

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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April 28th, 2015 by

Infor CRM Xbar is dependent on specific URLs in the settings and configuration.  If you make any change to the web client URL for Infor CRM, you will have users reporting their Xbar or Outlook is no longer communicating and getting an error.  This issue will appear even when the user can still log in to the web client due to a web page redirect.

If you are an Infor Cloud customer your URL has changed or will be changing as they re-brand Saleslogix to Infor CRM.   If your Xbar has stopped working and your URL information has changed this may be the culprit.  The web client OLD URL will be accessible for 14 days after the change utilizing a website redirect.  Xbar will not function correctly with that redirected URL.

For cloud users that were recently migrated to the new URL, you were sent an email informing you of that change to connect to the website along with some desktop manager and Outlook connector changes.  These too are impacted by any URL change, but the one item that was missed as part of the integration changes was the Xbar configuration.

When you first installed the Xbar you were shown the initial log-in screen for Xbar. ¬†But what if you need to change the URL information and its not showing like the initial login screen but you are getting a connection error? ¬†By clicking on the SETTINGS button on the Xbar (highlighted yellow below) you can open the configuration settings and review the URL’s used by Xbar.

The published changes for the cloud customers are as follows: (http or https)

o   If your current URL is: yourcompany.saleslogixcloud.com
o   Your newly changed URL will be: yourcompany.crmcloud.infor.com

ORIGINAL LOG IN SCREEN FOR XBAR:
The Service URL field will be the link you use to connect to the web client with the /slxclient replaced with /sdata
The Client URL field will be the link you use to connect to the web client with the /slxclient

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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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 23rd, 2014 by

A few years ago I wrote an article on cleaning dirty data in your CRM system, See link for details on Dirty Data cleaned Dirt Cheap.  http://community.saleslogix.com/t5/The-Saleslogix-Journal/Dirty-Data-Cleaned-Dirt-Cheap-Guest-Blog-by-Paul-Hansford/ba-p/9974. The gist of the article is that data management needs to be a sustained activity that is accomplished over time and not a one-time event.  CRM Data management is like technology compatibility in the sense that it is an ever moving target.

Data does not have to be perfect all the time, but does need to be fit for¬†use in your sales operations cycles. Even if your CRM platform is backed up, updated, and managed on your behalf, your data management is an area that needs to be maintained and included in your CRM strategies.¬†¬†¬† A CRM tool is the central repository for the lifeblood of your business ‚Äď sales.¬† When your business is using your CRM tools (Mobile, Web, Social etc) well then it becomes a tool where dashboards, data lists, reports, become a way to help your teams win the heart of your customers.

What is clean high quality data?

The top five characteristics of high quality data are:   Accurate, Complete, Consistent, Unique, and Timely. These items can all be addressed with a system usage guide (user policy document) to ensure that everyone knows what is expected.

Data are of high quality if “they are fit for their intended uses in operations, decision making and planning.” (J. M. Juran)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Data_quality

Practical Steps to help your situation

  1. Establish usage guidelines for data entry (intelligent naming conventions)
  2. Confirm your integrated system are not creating data issues (E-mail, Social, ERP/Accounting, web)
  3. Confirm your imported data, is compared either before or after, and has not creating duplicates
  4. Assign a Data Steward (DS) to help advocate and educate on data compliancy
  5. Use the proper built in tools and 3rd party tools to assist
  6. Use experienced consultants to give you the jump start you need

We’re entering a new world in which data may be more important than software.¬†¬† Tim O’Reilly

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.

http://www.simplesoft.net/blog/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/SS-Border.png

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

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