What makes data-sets valuable to CRM?

A new article by the smart data collective has sought to analyse what makes certain nuggets of information valuable.  The results are quite interesting, as they argue that size has nothing to do with value.  Here are some of the key takeaways from the piece:

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Business interactions vary substantially.  On some occasions someone may be a customer and at other times they might simply offer consultation.  That means that context is important in terms of CRM. For instance, to many firms, an insurance agent represents an outgoing but to a few specialist companies, they are a customer.  It is important to remember that there is not one single definition of 'customer', and blanketing every single person as a potential customer for every product is a bad idea.


The purpose of a business is to create and keep customers.  However, it is important to differentiate, therefore, between a pure 'connection' - i.e. someone who is linked to the company through another means (maybe they are a Twitter follower or signed up to a previous e-mail list) and a genuine customer who has invested in services.  Connections are valuable, but they should not be treated in the same way as a customer.


There are two takes on volume as a descriptor of big data with respect to CRM. One is resolution. This speaks to the amount of obtainable, valued information on a single person, organization or group.  Over the years, there has been a decidedly large increase in the resolution of information on customers in CRM applications. Simply compare an early contact record circa 1990 and a MS Dynamics CRM record and you will see the major differences.  The amount of relevant information that businesses can capture, store, process, distribute and consume on persons, organizations and groups in all contexts has dramatically increased. But as they say, you’ve seen nothing yet.


There are so many opportunities to access data in the modern world, that it is important to make sure that the data remains 'dense' in terms of how usable it is.  The more in-depth, useable data exists on a customer, the more valuable their CRM profile will be.  It is important, of course, to avoid filling the CRM profiles with data that do not provide value.  This could lead to a larger data set but not necessary a more useful one.

You can see the full article here: Smart Data Collective

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