I just finished watching a webinar titled Solving Your Top Data Challenges. It was put on by SiriusDecisions and Progress. I was not able to catch the whole thing but I will share what I took away from the portion I watched.
I learned that data becomes outdated within 36 months. Three years is enough time for most of one’s contacts to have changed their jobs, responsibilities, and or contact information. This does not mean that the data is useless but that it has to be verified and/or updated before it can be trusted. Data that is 12 to 36 months old can be used but the most reliable information is less than one year old. These time frames apply to data quality but also to data engagement. Data can be considered inactive if it is older than 36 months and robust if collected within 12.
The speaker for SiriusDecisions said that often 80% of one’s time is spent accessing and preparing data, and that only 20% is spent on analysis and presentation. It takes a lot of grunt work to produce the information that is needed to make business decisions. This is where a representative from Progress demoed a product called Easyl and showed how it dramatically increases the speed that one can get to the analysis stage. This product pulls data from one’s various storage locations. It takes this data and amalgamates it for easy access. The information updates as the data sources do. Unfortunately, it does not yet have ready-made solutions for pulling in data from social media analytics programs. It was commented that this is on Progress’s short list of things to add to Easyl.
The overall message of the webinar was that data management should be taken seriously. An individual or team should plan, execute, and measure data a management strategy. Each business should ask itself what it needs to learn from the data and work to get that information. Traditional methods may require an IT person to complete the 80% and a business or sales executive to do the 20%. Progress says that Easyl can reduce and possibly remove the need for IT’s involvement in the process.