Your internal data doesn’t need to be in pristine condition to be useful. BlastPoint’s processes and technology were developed to accelerate your industry’s data onboarding needs. That includes cleaning up your internal ‘messy’ data. We do the dirty work so you can focus on getting results.
Different organizations are at different stages in their data maturity journeys. Many organizations, especially those in highly regulated industries – such as utilities, banking, and health care providers – sit on lots of data. Even more, that data is typically fragmented, siloed, of varying levels of quality, and is generally hard to access by the business units that need it to achieve their goals.
BlastPoint’s data onboarding process and technology were designed from the ground up to help highly regulated entities quickly and efficiently take stock of their data, clean it, consolidate it, and make it accessible to teams across the organization. In this article, we’ll walk you through our process of turning messy data into actionable insights.
1. Audit Your Data
Data can be collected from thousands of touchpoints along a customer’s journey. When unmaintained systems are fragmented between customer service, call centers, billing & collections, etc. – it’s difficult for any data scientist, let alone any non-technical user, to easily make reliable business decisions from.
Take a step back and begin with auditing each system, or source, that houses your customer data. That may sound complicated, but it’s actually fairly simple. Auditing includes identifying the users and assigning a “Data Steward” – the user who is deeply familiar with the system and can relay specifics on the who, what, where, when, and why’s of that system. Additionally, auditing includes an overview of how each source speaks with other sources within the organization.
Keep in mind, all of your data isn’t necessary to achieve a single goal. At BlastPoint, when beginning any new data initiative, we first ask our partners to define the objective that fulfills their most burning business need(s). The objective determines the target list of only the necessary data sources required to achieve that end goal. Begin your audit by identifying your objectives and allowing them to be your guide.
Unsure about how to define a strategic business objective for your business?
Follow and learn how objective-driven goals lead to results directly from our partners.
2. Assess Data Quality
Once you’ve audited the data sources, it’s time to conduct a quality assessment to determine how reliable the data actually is.
Duplicate email addresses, phone numbers, or similar things aren’t just clerical annoyances; they’re potentially red flags for deeper issues that can impact everything from the effectiveness of customer engagement to your company’s bottom line.
One partner, for example, employed a social worker to assist in completing paperwork for customers when they needed help. However, that person inserted their personal email address when customers did not provide one themselves. BlastPoint’s technology consequently discovered over 100 records with the same email address. Before our discovery, those customers weren’t being reached with pertinent program information when they needed it most.
At BlastPoint, as part of our onboarding process, our team assesses data quality for completeness, accuracy, timeliness, and consistency. Our findings help our partners target new initiatives to enhance the data they have while ensuring process improvements for rectifying data quality issues or collecting that they need moving forward.
Don’t let bad data quality keep you from reaching customers. Validate your data with this one easy trick!
3. Consolidate Your Data
After the data quality assessment is complete, it’s time for consolidation. Through a process called “entity matching,” all of your fragmented data sources will be consolidated into one.
Real-world data is far from perfect. Organizations commonly struggle with a plethora of data entry issues, such as customer data being entered multiple times in unique sources by various people in their own formats. It’s not uncommon to come across names that are either divided into first, middle, last, or, find them all combined into a single cell. Titles may be different, phone numbers are often written differently, addresses may be split or combined, punctuations vary, and the list goes on.
BlastPoint builds reusable ETL pipelines to ensure a cleansing and consolidation process happens automatically. Our process saves data teams time and effort by eliminating errors, bottlenecks, and latency – ensuring a smooth flow of data from multiple systems into one.
Our business partners come from different industries, but they face similar challenges when it comes to achieving customer intelligence. Check out some of the top hurdles they’ve overcome along their data journeys.
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4. Data Enrichment
Internal customer data is foundational to customer intelligence. Payment history, engagement rates, and program enrollment datasets provide snapshots into how a customer interacts with your company. Yet analyzing internal data alone provides a rather narrow look into customers’ behavior and motivations beyond company engagement.
With enriched, integrated data, you’re better equipped to serve people with the kinds of products and services they want. And you can offer those precisely when they want them; using the kinds of messaging that will resonate most, through channels that are most likely to yield high engagement.
At BlastPoint, we integrate your internal data and enrich it with only the relevant external datasets that directly support your objectives. Our established partnerships with data vendors make it simple for us to source high-quality external data that improve models and unlock new doors for analysis. We keep costs low by selecting data that are most relevant to high-priority initiatives.
Choosing the right third-party data vendor can be complicated. Avoid these five common pitfalls when acquiring external data.
5. Data Access
BlastPoint was founded on the notion that data analytics are most powerful when insights are accessible across the entire organizational chart.
Customer Intelligence Platforms offer an opportunity to open up new revenue streams, reach new markets, and reveal pathways to meaningful, targeted customer engagement. When teams gain access to enriched data, via a platform that is accessible to them, they essentially unlock limitless ROI potential.
BlastPoint prioritizes the security of your customer data – ensuring regulations regarding the protection of customer information are being met. Internally, personally-identifiable information (PII) fields in the BlastPoint platform can be restricted to a subset of privileged users, providing multi-level security clearances within one organization. Visit Our Technology page to learn more about BlastPoint’s platform, approach to information security, and more.
Our Response to ‘messy’ data? “We’ve seen worse.”
Don’t let “data shame” hold you back!
6. Activating Your Data
AI-powered customer segments generate objective-specific insights and result in better engagement metrics, higher enrollment in key programs, boosts in sustainability scores, and the strategic implementation of new communication channels. Both business strategies and operations have an opportunity to align around insights, naturally developing customer-centric departments across the organization.
BlastPoint partners have increased digital engagement by up to 1000%, saved $1.3M, boosted program participation by more than 50%, and more within just a few months of activating insights.
If a lack of supportive data infrastructure is preventing you from achieving customer intelligence, it may be time to hire an outside vendor. At BlastPoint, our team performs data cleansing, can help you establish effective recording and maintenance protocols, assist you in choosing the right third-party data, and most importantly, help you make sense of it – putting you on the path to customer intelligence.
Schedule a demo with our Solutions Experts by emailing Info@BlastPoint.com. Don’t let ‘messy’ data hold you back from discovering the humans in your data today!